The local property tax system in Pennsylvania is doing economic damage to our communities. Across the state, property taxes are rising faster than wages, and have been for many years. As a homeowner who has had to balance his own family's budget, I know what a burden these taxes are. During my fourteen years as Limerick Township's tax collector, I've seen too many families and senior citizens struggle to hold onto their homes. Even lower-taxed communities like Limerick hang on only because of commercial development that helps hold taxes down, but at a cost in traffic and quality of life.
The problem is in Harrisburg. For too long, state government has been balancing its books by shifting costs onto local school districts. Legislators make empty promises of "no tax increase," all the while knowing perfectly well that your property taxes will go up as a result of their inaction. State government needs to take responsibility for increased school funding, statewide, with the benefits going to students, not buildings. Only then willPennsylvaniahomeowners be able to get off the property tax treadmill.