Regarding the Oct. 9 letter from Richard Swartz of Friendship ("Shifting From Property Tax for Funding Schools Is Not the Answer"):
I am a homeowner and one of the "90 percent" of Americans. It took me to age 80 before I finally owned my own home. I have not had a child, grandchild or great-grandchild in a Pennsylvania school system for more than 40 years, yet I still pay school taxes. An increase of 1 percent in sales tax for all citizens statewide would remove me from the burden of paying a school tax, which reduces my yearly income by $1,500. My property is valued at $76,000. That does not help pay my utilities, my health insurance co-pay, my yearly increase in my Medicare coverage, etc. Just my co-pay for medicines to keep me alive is hard because I fall into the doughnut hole in August.
Get your head out of the sand and look at the majority of the seniors in your own neighborhood, Mr. Swartz. School taxes are a burden on the senior. A 1 percent tax for the whole state is a really good idea. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have been paying a 7 percent sales tax for years and the rest of the state only 6 percent. Make it equal for everyone, especially for anyone 65 or over.
Thank goodness I am eligible for the homestead allowance or else I would sink.
MARY C. CALLAHAN
First Published October 17, 2013 8:00 PM