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Mon Nov 6, 2017, 02:24 PM

I finally found a sample ballot. Now.... about that Constitutional Question?

It won't let me copy and paste. Questions:

1. Who knew there was a constitutional question!?!
2. WTF does it mean?

This state does a damned piss-poor job of informing voters. I searched for quite awhile before finding a sample ballot. No wonder people don't vote, or if they do, they don't have a clue what they are voting for. I'm retired so I can spend time doing research, but I'll bet very few voters bother.

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Reply I finally found a sample ballot. Now.... about that Constitutional Question? (Original post)
femmocrat Nov 2017 OP
appleannie1943 Nov 2017 #1
femmocrat Nov 2017 #2
Yonnie3 Nov 2017 #3
femmocrat Nov 2017 #4
femmocrat Nov 2017 #5
Yonnie3 Nov 2017 #6
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 2017 #7
livetohike Nov 2017 #8
appleannie1943 Nov 2017 #9
appleannie1943 Nov 2017 #10
femmocrat Nov 2017 #11
DeminPennswoods Nov 2017 #12
femmocrat Nov 2017 #13
DeminPennswoods Nov 2017 #14
meow2u3 Nov 2017 #15
femmocrat Nov 2017 #16

Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 02:26 PM

1. Do you have a link?

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Response to appleannie1943 (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 02:31 PM

2. Not exactly.

I found it through my county website but can't post it without giving away my precinct.

I think I started with votepa.com or something like that? I did A LOT of searching.

EDIT: I found this link: https://www.montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/18583

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Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 02:34 PM

3. Is this it?

There is a link to the amendment at this link.

https://ballotpedia.org/Pennsylvania_2017_ballot_measures

The Pennsylvania Allow Local Taxing Authorities to Exempt Full Value of Homestead Amendment is on the ballot in Pennsylvania as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on November 7, 2017.[

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Response to Yonnie3 (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 02:38 PM

4. Bad link. Try this one:

https://www.montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/18583

It gives it in actual legal language (as it appears on the ballot), plus an explanation in plainer language.

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Response to Yonnie3 (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 02:41 PM

5. Yes, thanks! This explains it... Yes or No:

The Pennsylvania Allow Local Taxing Authorities to Exempt Full Value of Homestead Amendment is on the ballot in Pennsylvania as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on November 7, 2017.[1][2]

A "yes" vote supports this amendment to allow the state legislature to increase the amount of a home's assessed value that local taxing authorities―counties, municipalities, and school districts―are permitted to exempt from taxes. The amount would increase from up to 50 percent of the median value of all homesteads within their jurisdictions to up to 100 percent of the assessed value of each homestead.

A "no" vote opposes this amendment to allow the legislature to permit local taxing authorities to exempt up to 100 percent of the assessed value of each homestead from taxes. Voting "no" would keep the amount that local taxing authorities are permitted to exempt at up to 50 percent of the median value of all homesteads within their jurisdictions.

More info at your link. (Ballotpedia)

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 02:47 PM

6. Great! Homestead exemptions are ??

Ballotpedia doesn't seem to like direct links. Glad we finally got there. Unfortunately I don't know much about homestead exemptions, so I'm reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homestead_exemption

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 02:47 PM

7. I think it's intended for seniors on fixed income, to allow them to stay in their homes.

I'm just guessing.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 03:19 PM

8. Thats the intent, but in Allegheny County where there is a huge

population of Seniors, the impact to the tax base would be devastating. Therefore services would have to be cut. Seniors of a lower income receive a property tax rebate. My Mom uses it to pay part of her school taxes. If this would disappear, she would have to come up with the full amount.

I’ve read the proposition twice and am still unclear if this affects property and school taxes, or just property taxes .

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Response to livetohike (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 03:40 PM

9. Something this important to low income families and seniors should be fully explained.

Instead, they tend to word ballot issues in such a way as to confuse people into voting for something that helps big brother instead of themselves.

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Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 03:42 PM

10. I am a poll worker and without a doubt someone will ask what this means tomorrow.

We won't be able to tell them since we don't have a clue either.

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Response to appleannie1943 (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 05:48 PM

11. People will not understand it.

You would need an attorney in the polling place to explain it!

I found this opinion piece on ballotpedia:

Philadelphia Daily News said: "Naturally, most will have an irresistible urge to press the “Yes” button. After all, who likes to pay property taxes? But stop for a minute and consider the reality behind this simply worded question. ... Property taxes are used to fund public schools. They cannot be abolished without replacing that money. There are bills in the state legislature today to increase the state income tax from 3.07 percent to 4.95 percent to partly fill in the hole. Another would increase the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent (and from 8 percent to 9 percent in Philadelphia) and remove exemptions on such items as food, nonprescription drugs, and some clothing. Depending on your income and current property taxes, you could end up paying more."[14]


This link has a ton of information: https://ballotpedia.org/Pennsylvania_Allow_Local_Taxing_Authorities_to_Exempt_Full_Value_of_Homestead_Amendment_(2017)


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Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 06:16 PM

12. It's not hard to understand, but what's the purpose behind it?

I'm voting NO because I think it's a stealth way to defund public schools.

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 07:51 PM

13. Well, you understand it because you are well-informed! LOL

I felt that it would be a surprise to many voters and upon first reading (at the polling place), it would seem confusing. I had to read it several times to understand it.
Yes, it would defund public schools and since the revenue has to come from somewhere, either state income tax or sales tax, or both, would have to increase.

I have spent way too much time on this today and not many people have that luxury, I fear.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 7, 2017, 07:53 AM

14. The ballot question was a surprise to me, too

There's already a law that allows local taxing authorities to forgive up to the 1/2 the median (avg) value of all homes in the tax area to homeowners. I've never heard of that ever being done and I had a neighbor on a fixed income who had little to nothing left over at the end of the month.

I know there are/have been proposals floating around the legislature to eliminate property taxes for a few years now that haven't gone anywhere. I'm just going with the theory that if they can't pass a bill, this question is a good workaround.

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Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Tue Nov 7, 2017, 11:33 AM

15. Vote NO on that ballot question allowing 100% property taxexemption on homestead

It's a Trojan horse which tilts the property tax code in favor of homeowners. What will end up happening is very likely a massive property tax hike on businesses and landlords, causing tenants' rents to skyrocket to offset the tax-free status of homeowners.

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Response to meow2u3 (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 7, 2017, 12:50 PM

16. Thanks!

I did and posted it on FB and Twitter!

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