Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fred Thompson, Michael Steele headline GOP dinner

Conservative heavyweights Fred Thompson and Michael Steele will headline the Pennsylvania Republican Party's 2nd Annual Celebrate Pennsylvania Dinner on June 6 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.

Thompson, a former U.S. Senator and a 2008 presidential candidate, and Steele, chairman of GOPAC and former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, will address more than 500 state party members, elected officials and grassroots volu nteers from across the Commonwealth, according to PA GOP Chairman Robert A. Gleason Jr.

The discussion will focus on the critical 2008 Presidential Election, and the importance of delivering Pennsylvania's 21 electoral votes to Sen. John McCain, Gleason said.

The dinner will take place in the Chocolate Ballroom in Hershey. Cost per person is $125. State party members can purchase their ticket for $100 and a table of 10 can be reserved for $900. The cost to attend the VIP Reception is $250.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Megan Martin at 717-234-4901, ext. 131 or

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Bill would exempt mobile homes from property taxes

Here's a twist in the ongoing effort to abolish property taxes.

Two Montgomery County lawmakers have introduced a bill to exempt people who live in mobile homes or trailer homes from paying the onerous property tax.

Most mobile homes are set on land the "homeowner" does not own, according to state Sens. John Rafferty, R-44th Dist., and Rob Wonderling, R-24th Dist. So why should these non-property owners pay property taxes, the lawmakers ask.

Senate Bill 1377 would eliminate two sections of The General County Assessment Law, excluding house trailers and mobile homes from the property tax.

Rafferty said he introduced this bill because he believes that forcing mobile home owners to pay property tax is unjust due to the fact that a mobile home is designed for transport and is titled by PennDOT like every other mobile vehicle.

"Some residents have come to me expressing their discontent that they have to pay property taxes on the assessed value of their mobile homes. I think this is unfair, because while these people may own the mobile home, they do not own the land that the mobile home sits on," Rafferty said in a press release.

Wonderling echoed Rafferty's sentiments on this legislation stating, "Often individuals living in mobile homes pay additional fees for the use of land where they place their vehicle. Requiring these people to pay property taxes for land they do not own is unfair, especially to those families living on fixed incomes."

The General County Assessment Law, passed in 1933 and amended in 2002, originally called for taxes on buildings permanently attached to land or connected with water, gas, electric or sewage facilities, Rafferty and Wonderling said.

A mobile home is a dwelling structure built on a steel chassis and fitted with wheels intended to be transported to a usually permanent location, the senators argue.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.


The house you save may be your own

There are still a few seats available on buses to take part in the Save Our Homes Rally in Harrisburg Monday.

For $20, you can be part of a taxpayer movement designed to save every homeowner in Pennsylvania thousands of dollars in school property taxes. If you're retired or you can take the day off from work, what better way to spend the day than stand with fellow citizens to demand action on property taxes?

Bus transportation has been arranged by the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition to take residents to the Save Our Homes Rally at the State Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg on Monday, June 2. The rally starts at 11 AM.

This could be the last chance this year to get the Legislature to act on property tax reform.

From Pottstown Area:

Bus will be leaving from the Wal-Mart in the Pottstown Center on Shoemaker Road at 8:30 AM. Contact Gene Endress of the PCTA's Owen J. Roberts taxpayer group at You can also call Gene at 610-323-3914 or 610-698-0553 for reservations.

From Reading Area:

Bus will be leaving from the K-Mart at Rt. 222 and Rt. 724, Shillington, at 8:30 AM. Contact David Baldinger of the PTCC at

From Lancaster County Area:

Bus for the Eastern Lancaster County/Western Chester County area will be leaving from the Christiana Fire House at 8:30 AM with a pickup stop in Lancaster city. Contact John McCartney of the PCTA's CLASTA group at

From York County Area:

Bus will leave from the Southeastern York County area (Delta, Fawn Grove, Peach Bottom) with a pickup stop near York City. Contact Margie Lavin of the PCTA's SETRC group at or Warren Bulette of the PCTA's YCTC group at


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Save Our Homes Rally

From PA House GOP News:

Continuing his ongoing efforts to secure immediate legislative action on the School Property Tax Elimination Act (House Bill 1275), state Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks) will host the Save Our Homes Rally at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, June 2, in the state Capitol Rotunda

Organized in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Taxpayer's Cyber Coalition (PTCC) and 27 other grassroots taxpayer groups from across the Keystone State, the Save Our Homes Rally will feature personal testimony from several individuals who have been forced out of their homes or otherwise negatively impacted by school property taxes.

Also during Monday's rally, Rohrer and PTCC President Dave Baldinger will highlight the progress made in previous debates and the ever-growing grass roots movement to advance this legislation through the state House during the upcoming state budget hearings. The bipartisan, pro-growth School Property Tax Elimination Act seeks to replace all school property taxes and other local nuisance taxes with a broader 6 percent sales tax rate.

State Rep. Tom Yewcic (D-Cambria/Somerset), State Sen. Jeff Piccolla (R-Dauphin/York), State Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon/Lancaster/Berks) and many other state lawmakers will be in attendance to offer their support.

"For the past 30 years and counting, thousands of our most precious citizens are continually being forced from the security of their homes, many built with their own hands, by the very government that has been constitutionally entrusted to ensure the security of their property," said Rohrer. "In sharp contrast, the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 spells both hope and freedom for all Commonwealth citizens because, rather than an un-measurable, gambling revenue-dependent reduction, it will eliminate 100 percent of school property taxes."

For more information on the School Property Tax Elimination Act, visit

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Rendell's brain

You remember how the media used to refer to Karl Rove as Bush's brain? Well, there's a similar official in the Rendell administration.

Budget Secretary Michael J. Masch is leaving to take a job as chief business officer for the Philadelphia School District. (Masch spent eight years with Rendell in Philadelphia, then followed Rendell to Harrisburg.)

Another sure sign that Gov. Ed Rendell is a lame duck: The man who has done much of the heavy lifting for Rendell since 2003 is bailing out.

Masch has been the architect of Rendell's fiscal policies for the past five years. Rendell admitted so much in a press releasing announcing Masch's departure.

"He was integral to framing the initiatives of this administration," Rendell said.

Rendell credited Masch with driving down the cost of operating state government "by more than $1.5 billion, with most of these savings coming from groundbreaking new ways to manage our Medicaid and related welfare resources."

Rendell neglected to mention the $7 billion in new state spending, plus billions in new taxes and billions in new borrowing.

Can Masch turn around the financially troubled Philadelphia School District? Unlikely. He won't have unlimited funding to tap into like he did in Harrisburg and Rendell's influence is growing weaker by the day.

And what about the 2008-09 state budget? I suspect Masch saw the handwriting on the wall a long time ago. The Rendell budget is DOA. It will never get through the GOP-controlled state Senate.

Masch is getting out while the getting is good. Expect more of Rendell's top staffers to jump ship... especially as rumors continue to swirl about Rendell taking a job in the next Democratic presidential administration.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tax Cuts = Economic Stimulus

State Rep. Tom Quigley (R-Montgomery) and the House Republican Policy Committee hosted a public hearing Wednesday on legislation that would reduce Pennsylvania's Personal Income Tax (PIT).

The event on the West Campus of Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown was designed to boost support for the Economic Stimulus Tax Cut Package introduced by House Republicans.

"The budget surplus we are currently experiencing should mean money being returned to the wallets of the hard-working taxpayers who earned it," Rep. Quigley, a member of the House Finance Committee, said in a statment issued after the hearing. "The Economic Stimulus Tax Cut Package works to that end, and keeps tax dollars from finding their way into a pet project."

Among the speakers who testified was the newly-installed president of the TriCounty Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses in Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties.

"This legislation is exciting for our members because it addresses concerns we have about how to make Pennsylvania more business friendly," said Tim Phelps, president of the TriCounty Chamber of Commerce. "This bill puts dollars back into local economies through business reinvestment and employee buying power."

The GOP package includes, House Bill 2270 cutting the PIT to 2.935 percent from its current rate of 3.07 percent and reducing the gross receipts tax on consumer electric bills by 50 percent over a period of five years.

The House Republican Policy Committee plan would also enact relief for businesses by removing the cap on net operating loss carry-forward and shifting from a 70 percent sales factor to a 100 percent sales factor in computation of the Corporate Net Income Tax, resulting in about $500 million in tax cuts for Pennsylvania citizens, Quigley said.

Andrew King, a certified public accountant with Main Line Financial, testified that taxes can be a powerful tool in convincing businessowners and homeowners to move into Pennsylvania.

"Pennsylvania's tax rate is essentially a flat tax, which does nothing to incent an entrepreneur to locate and stay in a community," King said. "It also does nothing to encourage home ownership by the average working class individual via a tax deduction for real estate taxes or home mortgage interest."

John Callahan, director of government affairs for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, testified that the state's lack of favorable business climate is well documented.

"States throughout the country compete with one another for economic development," Callahan said. "Tax policy is always a key dynamic, and Pennsylvania has been recognized as uncompetitive for corporate taxation by various publications and entities."

In addition to Quigley, Reps. Adam Harris (R-Mifflin/Juniata/Snyder), Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Jay Moyer (R-Montgomery) and Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) attended Wednesday's hearing.

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Tired of high gas prices?

If you're tired of rising gas prices, add your name to an online petition drive to get Congress off its collective butt and start dealing with the problem.

Nearly 60,000 people have signed their names so far at the Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less. Petition Drive sponsored by American Solutions for Winning the Future, a site founded by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Add your name to the list today and remember all the incumbents on the ballot on Nov. 4.

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15,000 doors to go

How serious is Lance Rogers about winning the 17th District state Senate seat?

Rogers recently quit his job to campaign full time until the Nov. 4 election. That's how serious the independent-turned-Republican candidate is about going to the state Senate.

Rogers plans to knock on 15,000 doors throughout the 17th District between now and Election Day, according to his campaign.

Rogers, an attorney, resigned his position at the Pepper Hamilton law firm "to run a full-time grassroots campaign, introducing himself to voters throughout the summer," according to his campaign.

"Whether its lowering property taxes, making health care affordable or holding politicians more accountable, meeting voters on their doorstep and personally talking to them about their hopes and concerns is the best way to understand the real problems we face in Pennsylvania," Rogers said in a press release.

Rogers notified his law firm on Feb. 26 that he would resign his position, effective May 2.

"Although we are disappointed to see a dynamic and talented colleague leave our firm, we understand the demands of running for political office," said Larry ("Buzz") Wood, a litigation partner at Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia. "We wish Lance the best of luck in his campaign and future endeavors."

Rogers defeated Lisa Paolino in the April 22 GOP primary. He faces state Rep. Daylin Leach, who continues to collect a check from taxpayers while he campaigns for a new job.

The 17th District state Senate seat in Montgomery and Delaware counties is held by Democrat Connie Williams, who is not seeking re-election.

For more information on Rogers, visit his campaign Web site,

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You and I will end up paying for global warming hysteria

The U.S. Senate has taken up the matter of global warming. I can think of at least 50 other more pressing issues facing this country.

If you're in the majority of Americans who have not seen Al Gore's climate change fantasy, "An Inconvenient Truth," consider yourself lucky.

Unfortunately, the global warming propaganda has reached many members of the Senate, which is considering legislation that will directly impact the pocketbook of Pennsylvania families already struggling to pay for basic needs like food and gasoline.

Higher taxes, lost jobs and skyrocketing utility costs await you if the global warming fanatics get their way.

Check out this post, "How Pennsylvania Will Be Affected by the Lieberman-Warner Global Climate Change Legislation," at The Heritage Foundation Web site, to see how much more you will end up paying if the Senate continues to fall for the Al Gore-inspired climate change nonsense.

From The Heritage Foundation:
The Lieberman–Warner legislation promises extraordinary perils for the American economy, should it become law, all for very little change in global temperature … perhaps even smaller than the .07 of a degree Celsius drop in temperature that many scientists expected from worldwide compliance with the Kyoto climate change accords. S. 2191 imposes strict upper limits on the emission of six greenhouse gases (GHG) with the primary emphasis on carbon dioxide (CO2). The mechanism for capping these emissions requires emitters to acquire federally created permits (called allowances) for each ton emitted.
Also check out the "Cold Facts on Global Warming" feature at The Heritage Foundation Web site.

Contact Sen. Arlen Specter and Sen. Bob Casey and urge them to vote against the Lieberman–Warner bill.