Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Russ Diamond: Dan and Joan

Dan & Joan
I'd like to tell you about Dan and Joan Sullivan. Dan is a retired truck driver in York County. Dan and his wife Joan are in serious danger of losing their home.

Why? In addition to their $1300 monthly mortgage payment, Dan and Joan also pay $300 per month in property taxes. Those property taxes are likely to go up in the next few years, but Dan and Joan are living on a fixed income.

If they can’t afford to pay their taxes, the government will seize Dan and Joan’s home and throw them out on the street.

To add insult to injury, the Governor just signed HB39 into law, a pitiful attempt at property tax “relief” put forth by our hapless General Assembly. Under this so-called plan, Dan and Joan won’t see any relief until at least 2008 – maybe even as late as 2009.

To make matters worse, any relief they do eventually get will come through borrowing from the lottery fund – which is specifically targeted to help people like Dan and Joan – and from imaginary slots money. Never mind robbing Peter to pay Paul – this is robbing PAUL to pay Paul!

Finally, any “relief” Dan and Joan eventually see will likely be more than offset by property tax increases before that “relief” arrives. HB39 is nothing but a cheap accounting trick by elected officials in Harrisburg trying to make themselves look good in an election year.

That's right - the same folks who had time to illegally raise their own salaries by 16-54% in the middle of the night last year aren't doing a darned thing for Dan and Joan.

How many other people are there like Dan and Joan in Pennsylvania? Far too many!

I’m dedicated to abolishing property taxes once and for all in Pennsylvania, so Dan and Joan can rest easy with the knowledge that the government will NEVER be able to force them out of their home.

If you think people like Dan and Joan should have the right to stay in their homes and enjoy their retirement, then help me gather 67,070 signatures by the end of July so I can get on the ballot and keep the property tax issue on the front burner.

If we don't, people who’ve worked an entire lifetime will be kicked out of their homes and the government will get their property. That’s not what good government is supposed to do – it’s supposed to protect Dan and Joan’s property rights.

Russ Diamond is an Independent candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania. Visit his website at


Randy said...

Mr. Diamond, it is a welcome pleasure to see you posting here. You are in good company.

I wanted to comment on your post if I could. I do not object to taxes. Those who benefit from the services provided by the State of Pennsylvania should not object to assisting with covering the costs of those services. What does concern me is whether or not we in fact receive the benefits for which Pennsylvania collects taxes and whether or not we receive representation with our taxation.

As a property owner living paycheck to paycheck, your article here certainly resonates. Pennsylvania collects our taxes and then seemingly does with that money as they please, often despite popular opinion on the matter. I object to taxation without representation.

However, I also object to representation without taxation. Again, as someone living paycheck to paycheck, because I am a land owner, I must pay taxes or face fines, arrest, or both. Yet those who own other forms of property do not pay the perpetual taxes and yet have an equal voice in deciding how my property tax money is spent. I can think of few occasions where an individual pays for a service yet another decides how that service is to be rendered or if it is rendered at all.

In essence, my property tax is a privilege tax. When I pay property tax, I maintain the privilege of living on the land that Pennsylvania apparently deems as rightfully theirs, not mine. If I do not receive the service for which I pay, if I do not receive representation with my taxation and the privilege of living here is diminished, I cannot opt, like I would with any other business agreement, to not pay until I receive the expected service. I must either leave my home state or face the above mentioned penalties. Yes, I can of course pursue the legislative process, but I do not have the resources to outbid the various special interests who apparently do get the privileges for which both they and I pay.

Pennsylvania is my home. I love this State. But it saddens me to see where we have gone. I hope very much that you can help fix what is broken.