Last week’s question: Are you in favor of a 1 percentage point increase on top of the state’s already 6 percent sales tax in trade for reduced property taxes? Why or why not?
No – 62 percent
Yes – 38 percent
NO: “I would have to vote no at this time because there is nothing listing what the reduction to the property taxes would be. I can estimate what a 1 percent increase in Pennsylvania’s state tax would cost me (I keep a budget, I know what I spend), but without knowing what the reduction to my property taxes would be, I cannot state my honest opinion. There is simply not enough data to make an informed decision. So I reserve the right to change my mind once I have obtained more details about the proposal.”
-Victoria Petrone-Still, York County
NO: “It is not fair to have those who do not own property to pay more in state sales tax.”
-Gail M. Leduc, York County
NO: “I voted no because property taxes should be eliminated, not reduced. Even if they raised the state sales tax by 3 percent, I would need to spend $100,000 before I’d pay the equivalent of my current school district property taxes (this does not include the county property taxes). My property taxes have increased 50 percent within the last 4 years and the tiny $185 “tax relief” I got from casino revenues was eaten up by the school district’s annual property tax increase, which still caused me to pay more than I did the previous year.
I’m in favor of an increase in sales tax, property tax elimination for primary residences (businesses and secondary residences would still pay property tax) and even a 0.5 percent increase in state income tax if property taxes could be eliminated.”
-Kimberly Hand, Lancaster County
NO: “How stupid does government think we are? Wait! Don’t answer that. Wasn’t it just a couple of years ago when we were told that bringing slot machines to Pennsylvania would reduce our property taxes? My property taxes haven’t gone down.
Doesn’t anyone realize that once a tax is implemented (or raised in this case) it will never go away?”
-Zack Bond, Cumberland County
YES: “Because then everyone contributes, not just home owners.”
-Mindy Naylor, York County
YES: “Local school taxes continue to rise at an alarming rate. This puts enormous strain on budgets of businesses as well as homeowners. Yes, I’d support a 1 percent increase in sales tax, providing every penny of that 1 percent would be used to lessen schools’ dependence on local property taxes (My personal choice has always been some combination of earned income and property tax.) It is imperative that school boards use restraint in their budgets.”
-Stanley E. Brown, York County
YES: “I fully support a 1 percent state sales tax increase from 6 percent to 7 percent because the financial burden of the current system would no longer be borne solely by property owners. Rather, it would be equalized across all economic lines without discrimination. I am a lower middle-income home owner who purposely lives modestly and within my means. My property taxes currently exceed 9 percent of my gross income. Before purchasing my home 5 years ago, I was also a longtime renter, so I clearly understand the debate from both sides of the fence. If non-property owners shared the burden through a sales tax increase and my property taxes were either reduced or did not increase, it would provide me with access to cash that I could roll into the general economy through purchases of home-improvement materials, landscaping goods and services and more.
There are several homes in my area that I have looked at while considering a “move up.” While I could afford to increase my mortgage payments within a modest range, I have decided to stay put, simply because I can’t justify paying the additional property taxes. I’m confident that this is likely one of the many reasons the real estate market has flattened.”
-Donna Giberti, York County
YES: The taxes would then be more evenly distributed among the people. The burden would not be as much on those owning property and those using the goods being taxed would be picking up some of the burden.
-David Brenneman, York County
This week’s question: Will the economic stimulus plan help your company avoid layoffs or generate new business this year? Why or why not?