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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=23327
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 20, 2017 03:43 PM
From: Representative Thomas R. Caltagirone
To: All House members
Subject: Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting Government Seizure of Primary Residence
 
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce HB 688 from last session. This constitutional amendment will prohibit any government entity from seizing a primary residence from a homeowner simply because the homeowner cannot afford the property taxes. It is not right that the government can seize these homes. Under the current property tax system home ownership in Pennsylvania is a façade.

Our Founding Fathers rose up against the tyranny of England over the levying of exorbitant taxes. In fact, Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison in 1784 that “Taxes should be proportioned to what may be annually spared by the individual.” FE 4:15, Papers 7:557. Property taxes in this Commonwealth have risen to the point where many citizens can no longer afford to stay in their homes. Many of these people have paid off mortgages but simply can’t afford the taxes. There are far too many homes being sold at tax sales throughout the state leaving our most vulnerable citizens literally out in the cold.

The day has come where we as a legislative body need to stand up for the people we represent and once and for all deal with property tax problem. The burden of these taxes fall particularly hard on the poor, sick and older citizens. These people are constantly fighting to keep their homes and the American dream of homeownership is a lay-off, illness or death of a spouse away from being torn from their grasp.

I think we need to protect the most vulnerable among us from the government seizure of their home by giving them the constitutional right to keep their home. My belief is simple: When you pay off your mortgage, you should feel secure that the government isn’t going to take your home.

I implore you to join me in my efforts.



Introduced as HB1432