To the editor: This letter is to alert all property owners who reside not only in the 27th Senatorial District, but everywhere in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, that Sen. John R. Gordner (R-27) does not support elimination of the school property tax.

Sen. Gordner has voiced his opposition to eliminating this burdensome tax. This tax is unfair to property owners from all walks of life and, in particular, the elderly and working middle class taxpayer.

Keep in mind, this is the same Sen. Gordner who supported the increase in taxes for fuel and vehicle registration fees, then touted how they would have little impact on the residents of Pennsylvania due to being spread over five years. He then indicated that the fuel suppliers might not pass the increased fuel costs along to the consumer.

Since we live in a petroleum-based economy, does Sen. Gordner think the increase in fuel taxes is going to only affect people who drive? The ripple effect of these fuel tax increases goes beyond just driving our vehicles down the road.

According to his aide, Sen. Gordner is opposed to the elimination of the school property tax because it might cause a budget shortfall of $2.5 billion at the end of five years.

If the school property tax were eliminated completely for all property owners, regardless of income, there has to be an increase elsewhere to offset the loss of this revenue. It would most likely mean applying sales tax to a number of goods and services currently tax-exempt, and an increase in the earned-income tax. However, what's to stop Harrisburg from increasing those taxes and still leaving the property owners straddled with the school tax? An increase in the earned-income tax could come at any time, but at least if the state sales tax were increased, that rate would be applied equally to everyone, Pennsylvania resident or non-resident, who is purchasing goods and services in the commonwealth.

As a real estate agent for 28 years and an appraiser for 25 years, I see firsthand the effect the school property tax has on the taxpayer. If you want to see the school property tax be a tax of the past, please contact Sen. Gordner. Let him know he needs to support the elimination of the school property tax now, not after the next election cycle. Do what is best for the property owners, not politicians.

Sen. Gordner can be reached as follows:

Local offices: 570-339-5937 or 570-784-3464, fax 570-339-5938 or 570-784-9379; in Harrisburg at 717-787-8928, fax 717-787-9715; by email at, or by mail at Sen. John R. Gordner, Senate Box 2037, Harrisburg 17120-3027.

Charlie Shultz