Corbett’s blundering, not pensions, has led to property tax hikes

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The governor’s attempt to link passage of state pension changes to property tax relief for homeowners is incredibly misleading (“Corbett: Pension Overhaul Targets Property Tax Issue,” July 14).

Assuming Gov. Tom Corbett read the analysis on the pension proposal he supports, he understands it does not provide any short-term savings for the state or schools and therefore would have no effect on local property taxes.

In fact, no matter how deeply he cuts benefits for future state and school workers, it will not provide any near-term savings. Furthermore, the proposal will not pay off the state’s debt any faster than the current payment plan.

The truth is local property taxes are increasing because the governor cut education funding by $3 billion over his tenure. Instead of funding schools, he cut business taxes by more than $2 billion. His cuts have left school districts with little options but to increase property taxes, lay off teachers and other employees and increase class sizes.

The governor’s push for pension changes is nothing more than a desperate attempt to distract from his budget blundering and severe cuts to education. More state funding to schools equals less reliance on local property taxes. Unfortunately, for the governor, pension changes seem to be more about ideology than math.

STATE REP. JOSEPH MARKOSEK
Monroeville

The writer, who represents the 25th Legislative District, is the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.


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