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Poll Tax

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NEWS
August 26, 2002
IN A panic that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Rendell might have electoral coattails, it's not surprising that Pennsylvania Republicans would try to suppress Democratic turnout. What is surprising is the ugly and cynical way they're going about it. Supposedly in response to voter fraud, House Republicans passed a bill that would require registered voters to provide either their county voter identification cards or photo identification before being allowed to vote. It goes to the Senate in the fall.
NEWS
March 9, 1991 | By Larry Eichel, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf war, John Major has become one of the most popular British prime ministers in history. And his Conservative Party has taken a solid lead over its rivals in the polls. But Major's political future is darkened by the nation's continuing fury over the poll tax - a flat annual charge averaging $750, imposed on every adult - that has become the prime means of financing local government. Last March, there were violent riots against the poll tax in the streets of London.
NEWS
April 24, 1991 | By Larry Eichel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Britain's Conservative government yesterday completed the slaying of its very own dragon, the poll tax, with the announcement that the hated levy would be replaced with a new property tax. The announcement came in the House of Commons from Government Minister Michael Heseltine, the man who used the unpopularity of the poll tax last autumn to fell its chief architect, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Heseltine said that the new tax for funding local government "will be simple and cheap to collect" and "will not impose excessive demands on any household.
NEWS
March 22, 1991 | From Inquirer Wire Services
One year after a poll-tax protest exploded into a bloody melee in the genteel streets of central London, the British government said yesterday that it was dropping the hated policy of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher was burned in effigy and virtually driven from office by the policy, which on April 1, 1989, replaced a property tax with a levy on each adult. People were outraged that Britain's richest man, the Duke of Westminster, was to pay the same rate as his gardener.
NEWS
July 26, 2012 | By Bruce Ackerman and Jennifer Nou
In 1964, the American people enacted the 24th Amendment to prevent the exclusion of the poor from the ballot box. In his recent speech at the NAACP convention, U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. wasn't indulging in election-year rhetoric when he condemned Texas' 2011 voter-identification law as a poll tax that could exclude the poor. He was speaking the hard legal truth. The Justice Department would be right to challenge this new law as an unconstitutional poll tax. The department has temporarily blocked the Texas law under special provisions of the Voting Rights Act that apply to jurisdictions, mostly in the South, with a history of discriminating against minority groups.
NEWS
April 24, 1988 | By Mike Leary, Inquirer Staff Writer
The last British leader who sought to impose a per capita poll tax was King Richard II in 1381. The result was the bloody Peasants' Revolt. Now, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wants to require everyone over the age of 18, rich or poor, to pay such a tax. The levy would replace the property tax as a means of financing local government with a flat fee that would average about $350 per person nationally, but could range up to $1,500 in...
NEWS
November 5, 2002
ANOTHER way to make tomorrow better today: saying yes to tax reform in the city. A referendum question will ask voters whether we should change the charter in order to create a tax-reform commission that will devote itself to studying and recommending ways in which the city's tax structure can be improved. We've expressed our wariness about big groups like this - this commission will have 15 members and a 23-member advisory committee - but we also believe creating this blue-ribbon panel sends an important message that people want tax change, now. In a further safeguard against this commission being only window-dressing: A group called Young Involved Philadelphians is publicizing their Tax Reform Compact, a promise they intend to extract from the usual suspects - mayor, City Council, controller and civic leaders - that they will take seriously the job of tax reform.
NEWS
May 1, 2008
THE 'RACE ISSUE' with the most far-reaching consequences this week was not the sorry spectacle of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his now-estranged former congregant. It was Monday's decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to allow states to use measures designed to legally suppress the vote of the poor, the young, the disabled, and racial and ethnic minorities. Indiana's voter identification requirements -- the most restrictive in the nation -- do just that. The law is a poll tax by another name, with the same intention: to erect barriers to voting.
NEWS
March 13, 2012 | By Annette John-Hall, Inquirer Columnist
Is it just me or does Pennsylvania House Bill 934, the voter-suppression, I mean, voter-identification law, feel oppressively like a modern-day poll tax? Today, the House is expected to pass the bill, which would require that every voter produce a government-issued photo identification at the polls. Gov. Corbett can't wait to sign it - just in time for the November election. Hmmm. A law supposedly written to safeguard against unproven voter fraud smells like obstructionist trickery to me. It wasn't that long ago that African Americans were subjected to a series of voter-suppression tactics that prevented them from even registering in the Jim Crow South.
NEWS
May 2, 1990 | By Mike Leary, Inquirer Staff Writer
Margaret Thatcher isn't just Britain's prime minister. She's also a member of Parliament for a middle-income North London neighborhood called Finchley, and one of her most loyal constituents has long been Joseph Thomas Brown. "When the (social security) office owed me money and wouldn't answer my letters, I wrote Maggie Thatcher and I soon got my money," Brown, a retired civil servant, said yesterday. "I was always proud of my MP. " But when Britons troop to the polls tomorrow to elect 5,300 local government councilors around the country, Brown is going to refuse to vote for Thatcher's Conservatives for the first time since he was mustered out of the army in 1945.
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NEWS
October 5, 2012
WHILE TUESDAY'S decision to postpone enforcement of the recently enacted voter-ID law may have momentarily halted efforts to keep the disenfranchised from voting, we, the religious leaders from more than 20 congregations in Northwest Philadelphia and members of the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement community, are joining together to express our shared belief that the voter-ID law constitutes voter suppression. It is immoral and needs to be overcome. In our view, the new voter-ID law enacted by the state Legislature in March for implementation in the Nov. 6 election will suppress voter participation, representing a threat to hard-earned gains made in voter rights over the past several decades.
NEWS
September 14, 2012 | By Peter Mucha, Inquirer Staff Writer
About 200 opponents of Pennsylvania's new voter ID law staged a protest across from Philadelphia's City Hall in advance of today's state Supreme Court hearing on the law. The justices are holding the hearing in the Supreme Court's City Hall courtroom. Protesters carried signs saying, "All Our Votes Must Count," "Supreme Court, Overturn This Act," and "Say No to Voter ID Schemes" at the hour-long rally organized by the NAACP, Philadelphia Neighborhood Network, MoveOn.org, and the Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition.
NEWS
August 25, 2012 | By Stephen Ohlemacher and Jennifer Agiesta, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Most Americans say go ahead and raise taxes if it will save Social Security benefits for future generations. And raise the retirement age, if necessary. Both options are preferable to cutting monthly benefits, even for people who are years away from applying for them. Those are the findings of an Associated Press-GfK poll on public attitudes toward the nation's largest federal program. Social Security is facing serious long-term financial problems. When given a choice on how to fix them, 53 percent of adults said they would rather raise taxes than cut benefits for future generations, according to the poll.
NEWS
July 26, 2012 | By Bruce Ackerman and Jennifer Nou
In 1964, the American people enacted the 24th Amendment to prevent the exclusion of the poor from the ballot box. In his recent speech at the NAACP convention, U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. wasn't indulging in election-year rhetoric when he condemned Texas' 2011 voter-identification law as a poll tax that could exclude the poor. He was speaking the hard legal truth. The Justice Department would be right to challenge this new law as an unconstitutional poll tax. The department has temporarily blocked the Texas law under special provisions of the Voting Rights Act that apply to jurisdictions, mostly in the South, with a history of discriminating against minority groups.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2012 | By Alan J. Heavens, INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
If you want to rile a New Jersey resident, two words will do it: property taxes. Most state residents — 89 percent of the 800 registered voters surveyed in early April by the state's Realtors, according to the poll's results — maintain that property taxes are too high, but they are less united about proposals to lower them. "Property taxes continue to be a major concern, even ahead of the economy and jobs," said Joe Goode, senior vice president of American Strategies, who has been conducting the poll for the New Jersey Association of Realtors for the last five years.
NEWS
March 21, 2012 | By Liz Gormisky, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The queues were long at PennDot's Center City motor vehicle office Wednesday as prospective voters lined up for free photo IDs, promised as part of a new state law requiring voters to show identification at the polls. A provision in the law, which takes effect for the November election, allows applicants to have the $13.50 ID fee waived if they sign an affidavit affirming that the card is only to be used for voting. Lying in that affidavit could bring a two-year prison term.
NEWS
March 13, 2012
Here's hoping that expected legal challenges of a requirement that Pennsylvania voters show photo identification at the polls will occur before the ink is dry on Gov. Corbett's signature on legislation racing through Harrisburg. A Wisconsin judge has halted implementation of that state's voter identification law before its April primary, responding to an NAACP lawsuit that contends voters without driver's licenses are "disproportionately elderly, indigent, or members of a racial minority.
NEWS
March 13, 2012 | By Annette John-Hall, Inquirer Columnist
Is it just me or does Pennsylvania House Bill 934, the voter-suppression, I mean, voter-identification law, feel oppressively like a modern-day poll tax? Today, the House is expected to pass the bill, which would require that every voter produce a government-issued photo identification at the polls. Gov. Corbett can't wait to sign it - just in time for the November election. Hmmm. A law supposedly written to safeguard against unproven voter fraud smells like obstructionist trickery to me. It wasn't that long ago that African Americans were subjected to a series of voter-suppression tactics that prevented them from even registering in the Jim Crow South.
NEWS
December 11, 2011 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
NEW YORK - The Pennsylvania legislature may have only a week left before its winter break, but its members are nonetheless trying to cram in debate on a number of high-profile - and controversial - bills. School vouchers, redistricting, a Marcellus Shale impact fee, and voter ID are among the measures the two chambers will consider. "It's going to be a busy week," House Speaker Sam Smith (R., Jefferson) said Saturday. "Will we get it all done? I don't know. " Smith said that there were still attempts to work out a deal on a natural gas extraction fee - and that if no action is taken before Gov. Corbett's budget address in February, the measure was in danger of getting mired on the legislative sideline.
NEWS
May 23, 2011
By Robert M. Brandon Last week's relatively problem-free Pennsylvania primary was the latest to demonstrate that requiring photo identification at the polls is a solution in search of a problem. People simply don't risk prison time to impersonate other voters. In 2008, more than six million Pennsylvanians went to the polls for the presidential election, and only four were charged with misrepresentation. So why did the House State Government Committee recently approve a bill to require photo ID of Pennsylvania voters, a program that would cost more than $11 million to initiate and millions more to run each year?
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