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Chester County Press

Uncle Irvin: Property tax fear spreading

08/18/2015 03:54PM ● By Richard Gaw

The massive downdrafting on people's lives caused by the Pennsylvania property tax has rapidly shifted from poorer school districts to their wealthier brethren.

Township supervisors and borough council members are feeling the lancing in their sides inflicted by their school district members as the schools continue to close massive spending holes by jacking up property taxes. The public is losing local police protection, local fire protection, and local services as property tax millage increases are being sucked up by school boards who are in charge of de-fanging the hungry hyenas called school teachers with no real help from the always-paralyzed state legislature and a Republican or Democratic governor who has no ability or desire to make the hard political choices needed.

Just recently the highly populated borough and townships around Kennett Square have abandoned their exploration of a regional municipal police force. Massive increases in real estate tax millage dedicated to public schools leaves nothing on the table to pay for other equally or more important public services.

Our local leaders have to choose between hiring a police officer who works a 360-day year to protect our security, and a 180-day school teacher who cannot be fired or evaluated for competency.

The property tax burden is totally regressive while you sell your home and move to Delaware, where the state pays the lion's share of real estate taxes. This has certainly been happening. Parents with school-age children move into our area, wait for their kids to graduate, then move out! Is this shift really helpful to stabilize neighborhoods?

(Uncle Irvin's column is his opinion only, and is not a news story.)