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Letter: Property taxes chill Central Pennsylvania housing market

I read with great interest the recent article by Jim T. Ryan regarding the stymied housing market and its effect on manufacturing jobs in the commonwealth. (“Housing market still stymies related manufacturers,” Business Journal, April 1, 2011)
The biggest obstacle to overcome or rationalize when attempting to build or purchase a new home is the property tax associated with that purchase.

My wife and I have been in the market for the last two years to either build or purchase a new home. We are in our mid-50s and have the capital required to purchase a home in the $400,000 to $500,000 range. Our current house is paid for and we have enough money saved to pay cash for the purchase.

The issue we struggle with is the property tax. We continually stall on the purchase because the property taxes would be $9,000 to $10,000 annually.

Until there is a reasonable “flat tax” on real estate, where every resident pays the same regardless of the value of your home, the market will remain stagnant.

We are not comfortable going into our retirement years facing the current real estate tax burdens that would accumulate to $300,000 over the next 30 years.

A flat tax with tuition payments by the parents for students attending the public school would seem fair and reasonable.

The current way of taxing based on the appraised value of one’s home is comparing apples and oranges.

—Daniel J. Acri, New Cumberland

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