Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rohrer Explains Plan to Eliminate School Property Taxes

Graphic from the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition

Sam Rohrer is famous for introducing Housebill 1275 in the PA House; the bill that would eliminate school property taxes. An end to school property taxes is a central issue for gubernatorial campaign. Critics of his bill say that it would direct control away from local school districts to the states (in this case, Pennsylvania state government). I asked Sam about this tonight at his townhall in Scranton, and he said that for all intents and purposes, the state already has so much control over school districts that the shift away from school property taxes to a state-run flat tax would be merely financial, not control-based.

For instance, he said that it's impossible for a school district to fire a crummy teacher or to approve a text book without approval from the state.

I think Mr. Rohrer may be slightly exaggerating, but I also believe that those who think eliminating school property taxes would be a huge power shift to the state-level government are exaggerating. Both arguments are tendentious.

However, I like Rohrer's overall plan for PA (at least he has an articulated one, unlike his opponent). Sam stressed the need to end scandalous PA state regulations which allow bureaucrats to give special deals to their friends and to give unconnected entrepreneurs a shake-down; indeed the need to end such practices is of extreme importance to PA's future.

Rohrer really seems like he'll be a good steward of his constituents' money. Sam's talk this night was really educational and enlightening. That's a good sign in a candidate; that he or she offer truth and light to the electorate rather than platitudinous speeches in which the only things said of real substance are attacks on opposing parties.

If Rendell's socialist utopia agenda (the harmful effects of which were shrouded by borrowing) had a chance, perhaps Sam's idea of school choice and elimination of property taxes ought to be given an equal chance. Regardless of how Rohrer's plans to cut back taxation pan out, in Rohrer, voters will have a candidate who is committed to individual liberty, family values, the integrity of the constitution (state and federal), and beholden to no interests other than preserving the individual's God-given rights.

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