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STOP tax reform plan Guts PA Constitution
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STOP tax reform plan Guts PA Constitution
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STOP = PA Constitution Alteration Of Uniformity

STOP letter writer misguided
A wake-up call  John Czekanski Saturday, April 29, 2006
The purpose of government is to represent the people. When the government doesn't represent the people, then there is no use for government...
It isn't government who represents the people, John, it is people we elect to office who represent the people.  When the people we elect to office don't represent us, there is no use for them.  go vote in an election and vote against those who are not representing you the way you believe they should.
The STOP plan guts the PA Constitution and intends to alter the Uniformity clause to permit for progressive taxation.  Beware...

All taxes shall be uniform, upon the same class of subjects, within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax, and shall be levied and collected under general laws.

Supporters of the STOP tax reform plan may not be aware that the PA Constitution would need a major alteraton in order to separate classes of taxpayers.  Taxes must be uniform on the same class of taxpayers, according to the PA Constitution.

Question #4: WHY IS A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT NEEDED AND HOW WILL IT HELP? Currently, the Pennsylvania constitution requires that all real estate be taxed the same. Since the STOP Plan calls for abolishing all property taxes on primary residences only, a constitutional change is required.

While getting a constitutional change is more difficult, it also makes more sense. Why? Because if property taxes on primary residences are abolished through a constitutional amendment and a referendum vote of the citizens, the property taxes can never be revived without another constitutional amendment and another vote of the citizens.

The other plans being touted DO NOT contain a constitutional amendment. The danger with enacting these plans just by legislative action is that a future legislature can reverse that legislation. For example: Let’s say the legislature expands the sales tax to include all food, clothing, shoes, day care, utility bills, insurance premiums, and most everything else as the Commonwealth Caucus wants.

And abolishes the school property tax. There is nothing to prevent a future legislature from reinstating the school taxes and keeping the 5% ‘tax almost everything’ sales tax in place. You could be paying school taxes again on top of the increases in sales tax, and realty transfer tax.

Since the Commonwealth Caucus plan keeps the entire assessment\reassessment system in place and every property in the commonwealth will continue to be assessed and reassessed; it would be quite easy for the future legislature to reinstate the school tax. The system to collect the school tax would already be in place.

The STOP (Primary Residence Protection Plan) is the only plan that calls for a constitutional amendment to guarantee that the abolished property taxes on primary residences (homesteads\farmsteads) cannot be revived without a vote of the citizens.

Under the Emergency Amendment provision of the current STOP legislation, the amendment would need to be passed just once by the legislature and could go to the voters in the Spring 2006 primary. If the Emergency Amendment provision is not constitutional, then the legislature would need to pass the STOP amendment twice—once in the current session (2005\2006) and again in 2007...

Uniformity most important
(tax breaks may be unconstitutional)

k) Article VIII, 1--Uniformity of Taxation

City of Allentown v. MSG Associates, 747 A.2d 1275 (Pa. Cmwlth 2000): upholds different tax rate on services than sales against uniformity challenge under Article VIII, section 1. The Court expressly overrules Commonwealth v. Mercadante, 676 A.2d 1307 (Pa. Cmwlth 1996). The requirement that all taxes upon the same class of subjects shall be uniform is arguably the most important provision in the Pennsylvania Constitution. One of its consequences is that a progressive State income tax is unconstitutional. Another consequence of the requirement of uniformity is that there must be constitutional authority for the government to grant any tax breaks. Thus, the numerous exemptions and deductions with which the student is familiar from federal taxation are at least suspect, if not unconstitutional, under the Pennsylvania Constitution. One particular source of recent litigation has been the scope of the Constitution's permission to grant tax exemption to "[i]nstitutions of purely public charity."

Reference to STOP

Ren-Ten Revenue Raising Idea For the State, Municipalities, Counties and School Districts
No More Monthly Tax Escrow Payments as part of your mortgage

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