Statement from Ronald Graham’s campaign on LERTAs

Ronald Graham for the 155th: campaign statement on LERTA

In Lisa Longo’s recent legislative update, she condemns LERTAs as “corporate tax welfare.” This slogan has a certain bumper sticker appeal, but does not comport with the reality of the LOCAL ECONOMIC REVITIALIZED TAX ASSISTANCE program. To begin with, LERTAs are implemented to rejuvenate blighted, usually industrial or commercial properties, and thereby improve the productivity of the site.

With modernized use of the blighted property, the aesthetics, the tax base, and the employment capacity of the community are improved. By way of example, I call your attention to Westside Apartments and Shopping in East Pikeland Township.

The Westside site was a severely polluted, dilapidated former car dealership, which had fallen into a multi-decade decline, to eventual, terminal disrepair and mortgage foreclosure. As a result of the LERTA, approved by the Phoenixville School District and East Pikeland Township, and applied to the multi-use zoning on the Rt. 724 corridor, developer Longview worked with the Township Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors to craft a project that cleared all of the environmental hazards. The plan provided for 20,000 square feet of commercial space and 171 apartments, none larger than two bedrooms, so as to limit the student impact on the school system. The construction is now nearing completion.

Prior to the current development, the property had an assessed valuation of $534,630 and produced a school tax of $15,589.81. Under the terms of the LERTA, the property remains at the pre-improvement assessment ($534,630) producing $15,589.81 per year until the final occupancy permits are issued by the Township. At that time, the property will be reassessed. The developer estimates the value of the project at approximately $35,000,000. That being the case, Westside’s normalized tax will be $1,020,600 per year. Due to the provisions of the LERTA, the actual tax paid will increase from the current $15,589.81 by 10% per year of the new assessed valuation level for ten years, until the full tax is being paid annually.

As a result of the East Pikeland LERTA, as estimated herein, the School District will receive $5,455,402 more in tax revenue over the next ten years, from this property than would have been received without the LERTA.

This is the kind of corporate welfare I support. Maybe Ms. Longo had a better plan for this property, and others similarly situated. If so, please share it with me.

Ronald Graham

Candidate for State Representative, Pennsylvania District 155

ronaldgraham155.com

(610) 933-3333

 

(Please note: publication of this article does not constitute an endorsement by the NCCDC)

Representative Warren Kampf Hurting Our Schools: HB 1213

Statement on HB 1213 by Melissa Shusterman, 2018 Democratic Candidate for PA 157th House District:

My opponent, Rep. Warren Kampf, has introduced HB 1213, a partisan bill that would limit the ability of school districts to challenge property tax assessments. While this may seem like a good idea on paper, in reality, it really isn’t. This bill would cost Pennsylvania school districts hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. Pennsylvania’s school system, one of the most unequal and underfunded in the nation, cannot sustain both this loss of revenue and the cuts in funding Republicans in the legislature keep making. Our children will suffer the most from these drastic cuts in school funding and revenue.

HB 1213 will also harm Pennsylvania families in another way. By removing the ability of school districts to challenge severely under-assessed properties, homeowners and businesses lose the only way school districts can try to make school taxes fairer. Property owners of appropriately-assessed properties will have to deal with increased mileage rates to make up for the under-assessed properties.

Pennsylvania’s schools, families, and businesses deserve better than HB 1213. Pennsylvanians deserve schools that are fully and fairly funded. Pennsylvanians deserve a fair property tax system. HB 1213 accomplishes neither of these goals. Our representatives in the legislature should be doing all they can to help our education system, not hurt it. I, along with many teachers, parents, school officials, and elected officials across the state, voice my opposition to Warren Kampf’s dangerous HB 1213. In the legislature, I won’t just fight against harmful bills like these – I’ll fight for legislation that will allow every Pennsylvania child to get the quality education he or she deserves.

Melissa Shusterman for State Representative in the 157th
melissa@melissashusterman.com

 

 

Petition against HB1213

 

Link to Petition against HB 1213

Click on graphic to go to the petition

Charlottesville Vigil -Freedom Isn’t Free

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Indivisible –  Find An Event
Charlottesville Vigil – Freedom Center Newtown PA

Where: State & Center Streets Newtown, PA 18940
When: Monday, August 14, 7:00 PM

Calling all peacemakers!! We are standing in solidarity with Charlottesville. Join us for a community dialogue to follow at Newtown Friends Meetinghouse on Court Street. Organized by The Peace Center, Rise Up Doylestown and Showing Up for Racial Justice Delaware Valley

Link to event information: https://www.facebook.com/events/163291610904664/?ti=icl

 

PASD Democratic Candidates Fully Representative

GOP candidates for PASD School board are all from Schuylkil Township.    As is typical of Democratic candidates, they represent a more diverse range of constituents.   Voters from the Borough or East Pikeland may find Democrats are more closely aligned with their interests.

Phoenixville: Jeesely Soto and Blake Emmanuel
East Pikeland: Chris Caltagirone
Schuylkill: Lori Broker

 

 

 

March for our Environment

MARCH FOR THE ENVIRONMENT–Saturday, April 29th, 2017 at Noon at the Chester County Courthouse, West Chester.
Rep. and former Mayor Carolyn Comitta will be addressing us around 12:45 about the importance of grass roots action–your voice–in saving the environment. Other speakers include West Chester Mayor Jordan Norley, 2017 mayoral candidate Dianne Herrin, and 2018 PA 6 congressional candidate Chrissy Houlahan.
 
Gather at noon. Please bring signs to show your support of green issues. We will walk to Quaker Hill departing the Court House at 1:30 and reassembling at West Chester Friends Meeting at 2 pm.
For people who want to demonstrate their support of the environment but are unable to attend the marches in DC or Philadelphia. This march is sponsored by the Sierra Club Sustainability Committee.
 
Other local Democratic and Progressive events are listed below:

Continue reading “March for our Environment”

Costello Town Halls

We are being urged to attend even if we can’t get in. Numbers will matter here. So, please come if you can and bring a sign on an issue that is important  to you.

From: Concerned Constituent Action Group

From Rep. Ryan Costello’s website:

Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06) today announced two town halls during the upcoming April District Work Period. Rep. Costello will host a town hall and a telephone town hall for constituents of Pennsylvania’s Sixth Congressional District. Constituents must register to attend in advance. Instructions on how to register for both events are included below.

Details:
What: Town Hall with Rep. Costello
When: Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.
Where: Historic Chester County Courthouse
21 West Market Street
West Chester, PA 19382
To Register: Click here

Parking is available on street or at the Bicentennial Parking Garage at 20 South High Street

What: Telephone Town Hall with Rep. Costello
When: Friday, April 21, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Dial-in number here
To Register: Click here

Copyright © 2017 Concerned Constituent Action Group, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:

Concerned Constituent Action Group
P.O. Box 172
Hereford PA 18056

Add us to your address book

Costello ACA Vigil

YOU’RE INVITED!    MoveOn.org
Congressional Stakeout to Save Health Care
Where: Rep. Costello’s West Chester office
When: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. this Thursday and Friday, join us for an hour (or more!)
What: All-day vigils to stop Trumpcare

Under Trumpcare, 24 million Americans would lose health care. The bill is so awful that the uninsured rate would be worse than it was before the Affordable Care Act. But Republican unity on the bill is crumbling. And if just three Republican senators or 22 House members vote against the repeal bill, then there won’t be enough votes for it to pass. As of last night, more than 50 Republican lawmakers had expressed serious concerns about it.

But the bill is moving extremely fast. That’s why we’re hosting Stakeouts to Save Health Care at key congressional offices tomorrow and Friday, March 16 and 17, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. We’ll share health care stories, have signs, and raise our voices together to stop this cruel and destructive bill. Will you sign up for one or more shifts during the vigil in West Chester?
A person holding a sign! YES, I’LL BE THERE! People holding signs!
I can’t make it, but show me other events near me.

Solidarity at Noon

West Chester 21Jan17 Noon.   Rally called by Chester County Democratic Committee to show solidarity in the face of the GOP carnage to come.

photo

An estimated 200 citizens assembled at steps of courthouse for about an hour.  As at any gathering of Democrats the people were diverse, colorful, and stoically cheerful.

Drive by supporters honked hundreds of times.  Smiles and thumbs up were even more frequent.   Of course a few registered their opposition.  Revving engines must be a thing.  At least one sputtered a string of the usual unimaginative 4-letter expletives.

One sign that many agreed with was, “Make America Think Again”.

Congressman Ryan Costello __________

Congressman Ryan Costello quietly slid through the crowd; and back again.   He is over 6 foot tall!  A few folks button-holed him.  I was un-successful in getting him to address the assembly.

I was excited to meet my Congressman.  I was un-prepared.  What followed was initially a failure to communicate.

I asked if he disagreed with the crowd here?   He disagrees with “Trump’s style”.  Huh?  (It’s much more his substance over style).

He asked about my major concern – War I said.  Him too.  South China Sea, Jerusalem,.., Estonia.  He pointedly asked a few times about Estonia.   I mentioned that sanctions lifted would be a green light.  (I should have said: Putin wants his countries back).

He mentioned accountability.  I held that Congress was accountable to constituents.   He responded that “Congress’s job was to hold Executive accountable”.  I suggested Congress’s role is more than policing the president.   At this point Rep Costello said I was argumentative and walked away.

 

A woman approached him. I overheard Rep. Costello respond about healthcare repeal. “Don’t worry 2-to-3 years out”. “Efficient delivery”, “high risk pools”, “Pre-existing condition was the most” salient.  No details since plans lack “specificity”.

Another bite at the apple…

I asked Rep Costello, “specifically”, will those relegated to high risk pools have higher premiums?  There will be a “government backstop”.  He went on: Do I know what the risk pools are? “of those not covered by employer, Medicare, or Medicaid, there are only 250,000 people with pre-existing conditions”. Out of ~20million people on ACA only 1 in 80 have a pre-existing condition??

Rep Costello again told me I was argumentative and didn’t know what I was talking about.

I wish my camera had a good battery.  I hope more and more will come out to show solidarity.

 

 

 

MegaVote 26Sep16

In this MegaVote for Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District:

Recent Congressional Votes

  • Senate: Fiscal 2017 Legislative Branch Appropriations – Cloture on Motion to Proceed
  • Senate: Prohibit Sales of Military Equipment to Saudi Arabia – Motion to Table
  • House: Legal Challenges to Federal Rules
  • House: Identify Assets of Top Iranians
  • House: Defer Taxing Stock Options for Startups
  • House: Bar Ransom Payments for Hostages

Upcoming Congressional Bills

  • Senate: Fiscal 2017 Legislative Branch Appropriations
  • Senate: Veto Override of Lawsuits by U.S. Victims of International Terrorism
  • House: Water Resources Development
  • House: Fiscal 2017 Legislative Branch Appropriations

Continue reading “MegaVote 26Sep16”

Find your Democrat

Type in your address to Find your Dem.

Pa State and US Congressional boundaries are so fluid it is hard to know who your representatives are.   The above links you to your democratic candidate.

“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government;…  –Thomas Jefferson, 1789.

Stronger Together — Hillary Clinton