Today’s news – Wednesday, April 6, 2017

Today’s news and information gleanings from here and there.

Quote for today … “Trying to nail down who the leakers are is like trying to count the cockroaches under the couch.” – Michael Caputo, a longtime Trump adviser, in this POLITICO article.

A second quote for today … Transparency — of a nation, of a business, of an organization or of a person — reduces conflict and increases the power to reach goals. – from a Manor Township resident’s letter to the editor in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster.

  • Thanks for the “advance notice” Mr. “elected public servant.” – Because everyone’s got nothing to do but wait for your beckoning. Dumass move. How out-of-touch with reality are these overpaid prima donnas?


  • If the elected public servants at the state level approve a proposal to eliminate school property taxes in favor of higher sales and personal income taxes … “It means that in some districts, especially those with higher debt, residents could be paying nearly double in taxes until their local school district pays off its debt. In some districts, that will take more than 20 years.” – PublicSource

district deficit

  • Rachael E. Kedney, the candidate who may be appointed to fill a school board vacancy at tonight’s second meeting, is on listed on the Unofficial Candidates for Public Office for May 16, 2017 Municipal Primary In Ballot Order for school board director. Interestingly, only one candidate, Jenna Geesey, has filed listing only one party – Republican. The others – Cole F. Knighton, Keith A. Combs, Rachael E. Kedney and Barry Ford have cross-filed.
  • … voters can also be ‘confused when a school board candidate receives the nomination of more than one party on the ballot,’ said one elected public servant in this 2013 Hellertown Patch article. State Representative Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh / Northampton) sponsored a bill to ‘remove the ability of school board candidates to cross-file nomination petitions.'” The bill was “Laid on the table, June 30, 2013” and evidently died there.
  • And a new name, Marilyn Kress Hartman, appears as a candidate for Borough Council.

worst pills

  • Why do these “elected public servants” continue to operate out of the sunshine: A page one article in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster has another municipality hiring “a new manager and set his pay at $95,000 in March without deliberating the matter in public as required by state law, according to public records and interviews.” It’s also a Lancaster Online Insider report.
  • Food for thought: In this piece, the author suggests People who make over $250,000 can afford to buy brand new cars. The rest of us, he postulates, will be better served tobuy a used car 4 years old. And even wiser to buy a pristine 20 year old car.”

donateThe rise of donor-advised funds raises many questions, including whether they spur more giving. Nick Youngson/, CC BY-SA

  • How’s this for a lead sentence? The addition planned for Lancaster’s downtown Marriott hotel is going to cost more, and it’s going to get more assistance from a state redevelopment program.” Amazingly, government gimme’ projects always seem to cost more and more than initially promised. The article is an LNP – Always Lancaster article in today’s newspaper.


  1. With regard to the property tax elimination: The “double” taxation does not mean property tax times 2. It does mean that a resident of a borough with debt will continue paying property taxes, albeit at a reduced rate from what they are currently paying, until the debt is paid off. At the same time the will also be paying sales taxes on items purchased. Residents have a choice to not make the purchase thereby not pay the tax. They do not have that choice with their property taxes.

  2. Here’s a letter to the editor in today’s Lebanon Daily News about the topic:

    “School property tax bill needs work

    Be careful what you ask for. The current version of SB 76 would eliminate around 80 percent of current school property taxes. BUT it would increase personal taxes by 61 percent to 4.95 percent and would raise our sales tax to 7 percent and apply it to many never-before-taxed items such as meat, fish,

    many other food items, insurance, cable TV, all transportation, haircuts and salon services, service calls on heating, A/C, plumbing and electrical systems, shoes and clothing over $50, caskets and funeral services, and many other unavoidable expenses. Why only 80 percent ?

    Most school districts have some long tem debt and the total for all Pennsylvania districts is $2.5 billion. Under SB 76, school districts could continue to levy a school property tax of up to 20 percent of current amounts until their debt is retired. However, there is no provision in the bill that ensures that the 20 percent tax will be allocated to debt reduction, nor is there any restriction in the bill that would prevent school districts from continually re-financing their debt and levying the 20 percent property tax to perpetuity.

    In its current form, SB 76 does not eliminate all school property taxes as is claimed by some legislators and could represent a net tax increase for a great many working homeowners who will experience the increased income and sales taxes and who will continue to pay up to 20 percent of their previous school property taxes for some indeterminate future time.

    Law makers who challenge those who oppose SB 76 to come up with alternative solutions are simply employing a time-worn political dodge. It is not the responsibility of the voters to develop legislation. That is what elected legislators and their staffs are paid to do.

    PA has been experiencing a net loss of residents, largely because of our excessive taxes. The current proposal could accelerate this exodus.

    SB 76 needs some serious to work to address several remaining issues in order to ensure that its net effect on individual taxpayers is tax neutral. Even if this is achieved in the aggregate, there will still be winners and losers, and many of the losers could be those who can least afford it.

    – Stan Alekna, Cornwall

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