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https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=21737
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 4, 2017 02:29 PM
From: Representative Russ Diamond
To: All House members
Subject: Property Tax Elimination (Former HB 1115)
 
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce a joint resolution (2015-16 HB 1115) to place a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot so voters can decide whether to eliminate all property taxes in the Commonwealth by a certain date.

Acquiring, possessing and defending property are declared as Inherent Rights of Mankind in Article I Section 1 of Pennsylvania’s Constitution. That declaration was made by contemporaries of the authors of the Declaration of Independence, which cemented the idea that governments are created among men to secure such rights.

Currently, these rights are being abrogated by circumstances within the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions, causing citizens to be deprived of their property rights for no reason other than an inability to pay taxes.

We would be rightfully outraged if other Inherent Rights – such as the right to vote, the freedom of speech, or the right to worship freely – were precluded by any citizen’s inability to pay a tax. We should be equally outraged that property rights can be stripped away for the same reason.

This joint resolution will seek to abolish all property taxes in the Commonwealth as of July 1, 2024. Article I Section 2 of the Constitution guarantees the right of the People to make such decisions, and this legislation will facilitate their ability to do so under the provisions for amendment contained within Article XI.

By creating a definitive timeline, the General Assembly will have ample time to authorize new funding methods to replace the revenue that property taxes currently generate. Such a timeline will also give citizens confidence that they can look forward to fully exercising their property rights regardless of any temporary personal financial setbacks.

For those of you who, like me, are also supporting property tax elimination plans such as HB 76, it should be noted that any statutory elimination of property taxes must be accompanied by a constitutional prohibition to prevent property taxes being resurrected by statute in the future. This joint resolution serves that purpose.

I urge you to join me in seeking to secure and protect property rights by co-sponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions, please contact my office at (717) 787-2686.

PREVIOUS CO-SPONSORS: BURNS, CALTAGIRONE, DeLUCA, DUSH, GILLEN, A. HARRIS, MAHONEY, METCALFE, D. PARKER, RADER, SAYLOR AND TALLMAN

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Introduced as HB262