Monday, June 05, 2006

164: "Russ Diamond's Tax Plan (Part 1)"

We are presenting this straight from Russ Diamond's website, which you should all be scouring daily for news and updates.

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Diamond: Abolish Property Taxes
Calling property taxes "unfair, punitive and unconstitutional," Russ Diamond, Independent for Governor, today published his proposal for abolishing all property taxes in Pennsylvania on his campaign website in both written and audio formats.

Diamond set himself apart from other gubernatorial candidates by pointing out that property taxes run counter to the Pennsylvania Constitution, which provides for the protection of every citizen's right of "acquiring, possessing and protecting property."

"By taxing and threatening to take our property if we can't pay, government is violating a right it is specifically charged with protecting," Diamond said today. "Property rights are clearly spelled out in Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution and are included among the most important rights we have.

"Ed Rendell and Lynn Swann both plan to continue to chase people out of their homes to fund out-of-control government. Ed wants to keep playing his broken record of campaign promises from 2002, and Lynn thinks we can wait until he can change the Constitution - a three year process at minimum."

Diamond's outline includes a combination of a broad-based sales tax, the personal income tax and an overhaul of Pennsylvania's corporate tax system to replace the $11 billion currently collected through property taxes. It also recommends that a portion of the collection of those taxes could remain at the local level, retaining maximum control over local budgetary issues.

The outline also states that "true reform is not accomplished through revenue replacement alone. Controlling government spending is the other half of the solution. If we do not get government spending under control, we'll just end up with runaway increases in whichever taxes we modify to replace property taxes."

Rendell's proposed budget, if approved by the legislature, would represent a 23 percent increase in spending at the state level during his tenure, more than twice the rate of inflation during the same period.

"The clear victim of government growth is the standard of living of Pennsylvania's citizens. In addition to abolishing property taxes, we must decide whether we will continue to grow government or grow the economy. We can't do both," the outline stated.

"Even after we abolish property taxes, government will still have the ability to eat us out of house and home if we don't limit spending," Diamond concluded. He intends to come forward with his plan to control spending in the coming weeks.

Diamond's campaign is currently collecting the 67,070 signatures required to place his name on the ballot at the November general election, using an updated 'Signature Central' page on its website.

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Stay tuned for Part 2: How will Russ Diamond approach the Tax Reforms?

In the meantime, we urge you to visit the Russ Diamond for Governor website and find out how you can help this principled man get elected.

And please, while you are there, check into how you can sign his petition.

Click here for Part 2.

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