Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Letter to the editor: Future school tax hikes projected in state

on June 18, 2017 12:54 AM

We have been given a heads-up, an early warning, and we have an opportunity to do something to help.

If you study the statistics of the recently released Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) projection of school property taxes over the next five years for Pennsylvania, you will see that our school taxes have nowhere to go but up — to the tune of a half-billion dollars a year every year.

I’m going to pay more. You’re going to pay more. And the school districts? Well, they are going to keep “needing” more. The pensions, benefits and wages, along with the state unfunded mandates, take about 90 percent of school district budgets, leaving about 10 percent to work with, give or take.

Now we can all be thankful that we are still keeping our heads above water. That it didn’t happen to us ... yet.

But look around Indiana. Every day there’s a new “For Sale” sign up somewhere. Look at the businesses. Empty parking lots. Nobody at the mall. People are not spending money on unnecessary items. They don’t have it.

Have you been following the Erie stories? It’s just the most recently publicized example of widespread blight in this state. School districts up to their eyeballs in debt. The outrageous property taxes. Homes for sale everywhere. No jobs. Sound familiar?

Ever wonder why our neighboring Westmoreland County is booming? New home construction, lots of job opportunities, new businesses going up, etc. Last reassessment? 1972.

The current effort to get Senate Bill 76 passed has been heightened to a sense of “urgency.” We are running out of time. Don’t sit idly by and allow this to happen.

Vicki Blair

Clarksburg

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