By The Tribune-Review
Published: Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
Re. the letters “Who paid for your education?” (June 15) and “Slap in teachers' faces” (June 16), about senior citizens and childless people paying school taxes: As a senior without children, I say the method of taxation is unfair.
After my third successful Allegheny County assessment appeal since 2001, my school tax bill is $2,695, an increase of $681. The writers of those letters live in Westmoreland and Butler counties, respectively. The last time their homes were assessed was 1972 (Westmoreland) and 1969 (Butler).
Reassessments should be uniform throughout the commonwealth. Here is an easy-to-understand example of unfair taxation:
The Smith family has four school-age children and a house assessed at $50,000. The Jones family has two kids in school and a house assessed at $100,000. Then there's Mr. and Mrs. Young — no children and a house assessed at $150,000.
The Jones family, with half as many children, pay twice as much school tax as the Smith family. And the Youngs pay as much as the Smith and Jones families combined. How can anyone justify this unfair system of taxation?
A fair alternative to the property tax is the sales tax, which we should expand, raise or both. Everyone pays the sales tax. Eliminating the unfair property tax system would mean financial relief for homeowners.
Ralph Mayhorn Jr.
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