December 27, 2005
Although they didn't meet their self-imposed deadline of Dec. 31, Gov. Rendell and the legislature still have a chance to provide homeowners with real, statewide property-tax relief. It's a historic opportunity. Lawmakers may be motivated in part by fear of the taxpayer revolt over last year's pay raise, but they have approached this task in good faith. They should keep pressing toward a solution that enables the state to raise more money to pay for school costs, thus lowering the local property taxes that carry much of the burden in many school districts.
December 12, 1988 |
When the Pennsylvania Legislature passed tax reform legislation two weeks ago, state officials praised the proposal largely because the burden of local taxes would be distributed more evenly. But a closer examination of the legislation shows that some industries are treated more evenly than others. For example, banks, utilities, beer distributors, manufacturers and farmers will be exempted from some local taxes under the proposal. Lawyers, on the other hand, will continue to pay taxes at a relatively high rate in Philadelphia.
April 18, 1988 |
It was clear that my liberal friend Moonbeem was upset about something the other day. His hand shook so badly that he almost spilled his chablis on his power-red tie. I took the next stool and asked the nature of his problem. Social injustice? The plight of the underclass? The overcrowding of the prison population? The miseries of the Third World? "No, it's a personal disaster," he said. "I have just left my accountant's office and now must write the check. " You mean the biggie?
March 21, 1986 |
As talk of tax reform occupies more and more time on Capitol Hill, it's important that Congress keep in mind the long-range objectives that must be met. America's future is more promising than ever; it is a future Americans have worked long and hard to realize. The advent of high technology, mass communication, and rapid transportation have transformed a one-time expansive world into a global community. And the opportunities presented by this progress should leave us optimistic.
December 20, 2005 |
MAYOR STREET is quite an obstacle to progress. Here we are, ready to move on from business tax reform to improving property tax abatements. But the lame duck threatens to veto tax cuts hammered out last week. Miserable it is to be a Street duckling on Council as he lets you roast on the spit of public opinion. Letting others burn is the defining behavior of lame ducks. Mayor Duck frets that passing a tax bill before his budget address is "terrible, terrible public policy," reported the Daily News.
September 11, 1986 |
Although tax reform (routing wicked "interests" and all that) is called "miraculous," Sen. Jack Danforth (R., Mo.), an Episcopal priest who takes miracles seriously, thinks the tax bill is something less. It is, he thinks, characteristic of contemporary government, because it mortgages the future to pay for instant gratification through consumption. To expedite the dawn of good government, many legislators are not waiting to read the bill before praising it. However, its denunciation by Danforth, a member of the conference committee that wrote the bill, has momentum for respect.
April 3, 1986 |
The proposed changes in federal tax law won't eliminate real estate as a popular investment vehicle, the experts say. But the changes will make it much less attractive. "Will real estate be as good an investment from an after-tax standpoint?" asked Steve Braun, tax partner at Grant Thornton in Philadelphia. "No, it will not. " Still, Michael Solomon, tax partner at Goldenberg Rosenthal, the Philadelphia accounting firm, stressed that "real estate will never be a turnoff as an investment.
May 14, 1989 |
It's been said that it doesn't matter how far you are from a nuclear explosion, so long as after it's over you can say, "What was that?" That not-so-old joke comes to mind whenever people start into one of those stupid, narrow-minded tussles over who gets what as a result of the tax restructuring program that has become the most explosive issue on Tuesday's ballot. The fact of the matter is that if enacted - as I hope to heaven it will be - tax restructuring (a/k/a tax reform)
October 23, 2003
Leaders of Pennsylvania's Senate are still balking at doing anything to upset the educational status quo. After all, why would they? Sure, Pennsylvania is being abandoned in alarming numbers by its college graduates. Sure, its school finance system places a crushing property tax burden on older citizens and communities, while cheating students in many school districts. Sure, the state has one of America's weakest preschool systems. But, hey, why worry? That's the settled opinion of state Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer (R., Blair)
November 29, 1988 |
Can local tax reform in Pennsylvania be saved? The answer is yes. Still, there is much to do and so little time to do it. The public announcement by the Senate Republican majority that it did not want to address local tax reform in the remaining days of the 1987-'88 session was ill-conceived and a political gamble that I believe will backfire on them. The Pennsylvania legislature has 253 members. Senate Republicans have a 27-23 majority in the Senate, and they are roughly 11 percent of the entire body.