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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Counties Want to Impose Sales and Income Taxes

CCAP, or the County Commissioners Ass'n of Pa, calls itself the "voice of Pennsylvania counties." It's the lobbying arm of the state's 67 counties, and is pushing the state legislature this year for something it calls "tax fairness," but is actually the opposite.

Most of the revenue flowing into county coffers comes in the form of real estate taxes. Those are based on the value of the property owned. Though the millage rate is the same, those with more wealth (the landed gentry) tend to fund most of the county government because they own most of the real estate. Of course, some wealthy landowners take advantage of preferential assessments that is permitted under state law to those who own 10 acres or more. That was intended to help farmers, but it also helps dentists, lawyers and financial advisers who build McMansions on sprawling estates.

Instead of complaining about a tax unfairness that favors the well-heeled, CCAP wants to be able to impose both a 1% earned income tax and a 1% sales tax. This is apparently a top priority of county lobbyists.

What this will do is shift the tax burden from the wealthy to the poor. Those who are living from paycheck to paycheck will feel the brunt of a sales and income tax disproportionately. It is a regressive tax.

I'd have no problem with a graduated income tax in which those who earn more pay a higher percentage, similar to what exists in Pennsylvania. But that would violate the state constitution's uniformity clause.

If CCAP were really interested in tax fairness, it would urge state lawmakers to prevent the landed gentry from benefiting from preferential assessments unless the land is used for agriculture, logging or as a recreational tract.    

Incidentally, the state is heading into this fiscal year about $1.5 billion in the hole,and a large part of the reason for that (about $1.1 billion's worth) is because that's how far state officials were off in their projections on sales and income tax revenue last year. .


Anonymous said...

The counties get most of their money as pass throughs from the state and they are rightfully worried about their prospects with the current state budget situation. Part of a real fix would be a severance tax on gas extraction. But few politicians will touch it because they're some of the biggest donors to their campaigns...we are the only state that doesn't levy one. Also, ine of the smarter suggestions I've heard floated for revenue is a tax on cocktails, etc. At the risk of sounding puritanical, instead of opening up more gambling capability and encouraging that particular vice, how about encouraging less drinking? (And yes I will still enjoy my cocktail or two)

Anonymous said...

Given the dummies on county council that want to impose a vehicle registration tax and have already imposed a 10% increase in property taxes, this is right up their alley. I am sure one of our tea party republicans on county couci8l will propose this boneheaded idea, just like the others they have proposed. How else will they pay for the $150 million prison they want to build at Gracedale?

Anonymous said...

As a senior citizen residing in Penna, I pay no State tax on my retirement income. Being totally honest with you, between my wife and I, our "gross income" is approximately $120,000 annually. We invested our money wisely and can now live out the rest of our lives in comfort as we planned and sacrificed in our early years. We still live in our own home, educated our children, and just paid our school taxes of $3,500.00. My wife and I worked very hard for every cent we made. I even worked at three jobs at one time to make ends meet and never touched our savings and investments. I don't need any new taxes. Yes I am very fortunate as is my wife, but we planned ahead and so should and so could everyone else. STOP SPENDING. The Counties don't need new taxes. Straighten out the mess you created in this County and the rest will take care of itself.

Anonymous said...

It has been suggested the Northampton County Council be called the insane clown posse. It sounds about right.

Who knew these "so-called" conservatives were so eager to raise taxes and spend money.

Like Seth Vaughn said, I can do anything and still get re-elected. Lets see if he is right about his lemming vote.

Anonymous said...

I don't think they're lemmings. Republicans MIGHT raise taxes. Democrats ALWAYS raise taxes. Most take their chances with MIGHT.

Anonymous said...

" I pay no State tax on my retirement income"

so your saying that any benefit provided by the Commonwealth is a freebie as you have no "skin in the game"?
when a Penndot snowplow goes down the road plowing in the winter you get that service for free?
so to fill the budget hole what Commonwealth program that you use are you willing to give up?

Anonymous said...

5:23 am

The Democratic run county council had not raised taxes in over a decade, you statement is a lie, the Republicans got on council as a super majority and instantly raised your taxes 10%

Do you want to rethink your idiotic statements or are you going to continue to live the lie that a republican majority means less taxes and smaller government?

As Seth Vaughn said, "I can do anything and I will still be reelected "

Foolish Tea Bagger

Anonymous said...

"don't think they're lemmings. Republicans MIGHT raise taxes. Democrats ALWAYS raise taxes. Most take their chances with MIGHT.

This is the alt-right logic these teabaggers use. Makes no sense but it is their thought process.

Anonymous said...

Democrats are a joke right now. They've purged all moderates and are left with kind of philosophically entrenched losers the previous post illustrates. They had their asses handed to them by an orange circus clown because he gathered up most of the disaffected base. His record is still skipping on teabagger, while he's lost the federal government and over 1,000 state and federal legislative seats. Keep up the good work! No group is working as hard to get Trump re-elected.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:12 is repeating himself. The only party purging people are the republicans. Unless you drink the alt-right confederate flag waving passive aggressive racist theological ideology, you are impure. Donald Trump will be known as the Jimmy Carter of the Republicans. After his one term the republicans will be reeling for a decade.

Anonymous said...

......... that time when an alt-left vagina hat wearer who was completely bitch slapped in the last election deigns to plot the course of national politics from his mom's basement .........

Anonymous said...

Hey asshole 5:37.....I no longer drive a vehicle at my age. Screw the snowplows. you pay taxes on your gas and every time you register your vehicle and buy a drivers license you're paying Penndot to do their job. At 89 I paid my share of taxes. I screw you and your tax happy friends.

Anonymous said...

anon 7:21, a kindly alt-right response.

Rich Fegley said...

Politicians can't seem to fix anything without taxing the people more. This is a regressive tax. Maybe someone should investigate all of the "projects" given to friends of politicians. Are we getting what we are paying for? I say no. Look at what Pawlowski has done to Allentown. He is the microcosm of the macrocosm. Corruption and overspending is everywhere. It's not their money they are spending or giving away.