2017 General Election Ballot Questions

PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AMENDING THE HOMESTEAD PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT EXCLUSION

Ballot Question

Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to permit the General Assembly to enact legislation authorizing local taxing authorities to exclude from taxation up to 100 percent of the assessed value of each homestead property within a local taxing jurisdiction, rather than limit the exclusion to one-half of the median assessed value of all homestead property, which is the existing law?

 

Plain English Statement of the Office of Attorney General

 

The purpose of the ballot question is to amend Article VIII, Section 2(b)(vi) of the Pennsylvania Constitution to permit the General Assembly to pass a law authorizing local taxing authorities to increase the amount of assessed value of homestead property that may be excluded when determining the real estate tax owed for homestead property. If the ballot question is approved, the General Assembly could then pass a law authorizing local taxing authorities to exclude up to one-hundred percent (100%) of the assessed value of each homestead property when calculating the real estate tax owed on homestead property.

 

The Pennsylvania Constitution currently permits the General Assembly to pass a law authorizing local taxing authorities to exclude only a portion of the assessed value of homestead property when determining the amount of real estate tax owed. Under current law, the amount of assessed value that may be excluded from taxation cannot exceed onehalf the amount of the median assessed value of all homestead property within a local taxing jurisdiction. Local taxing authorities may not increase the millage rate of its real property tax to pay for homestead property exclusions. The effect of the ballot question would allow the General Assembly to pass a law increasing the amount of assessed value that local taxing authorities may exclude from real estate taxation for homestead property.

 

Currently, local taxing authorities can exclude from taxation only up to one-half the amount of the median assessed value of all homestead property located in the local taxing jurisdiction. But if the ballot question is approved, the General Assembly would have authority to pass a law permitting local taxing authorities to exclude up to one-hundred percent (100%) of the assessed value of each homestead property. Local taxing authorities would continue to be prohibited from increasing the millage rate of its tax on real property to pay for the homestead exclusions.

 

The ballot question, by itself, does not authorize local taxing authorities to exclude up to one-hundred percent (100%) of the assessed value of each homestead property from real estate taxation. Local taxing authorities could not take such action unless and until the General Assembly passes a law authorizing them to do so. The ballot question authorizes the General Assembly to pass that law.

BOARD OF THE PERKIOMEN VALLEY SCHOOL DIRECTORS BALLOT QUESTION

Shall the Perkiomen Valley School District incur debt, in a sum not to exceed $2,000,000.00 (two million dollars), for the purpose of financing construction of multi-purpose artificially surfaced athletic fields on existing school district property, and said debt be authorized as incurred as debt approved by the electors?

 

PLAIN ENGLISH STATEMENT

 

The ballot question concerns financing for placing a multi-purpose artificial surface on an existing athletic field on Perkiomen Valley School District property. The Perkiomen Valley School District desires approval from the voters to incur debt necessary to place a multi-purpose artificial surface on one or more athletic fields. Currently, student-athletes are using a traditional grass field for sports while opponents have fields with artificial surface. Surface playing characteristics are different on traditional grass fields compared to multi-purpose artificial surface. Replacing a traditional grass field with a multi-purpose artificial surface would provide student-athletes the opportunity to practice and improve their ability to play on the multi-purpose artificial surface. The total cost to Perkiomen Valley School District for placing the multi-purpose artificial surface on the athletic field could be up to Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000.00). The purpose of the ballot question is to determine whether the electorate of the Perkiomen Valley School District would agree to the Perkiomen Valley School District incurring the debt necessary to construct the proposed multi-purpose artificial surface athletic field.

PERKIOMEN TOWNSHIP BALLOT QUESTION

 

Do you favor the sale of 17.13 acres of Township Open Space Land to the highest bidder for development in accordance with the provisions of the Elderly Residential zoning district with the sale proceeds going to replenish the Township Open Space account and the Township’s General Fund?

 

PLAIN ENGLISH STATEMENT

 

Perkiomen Township owns a 17.13-acre tract of vacant land located on Salem Road, next to Highland Manor, and close to the Maple Hill subdivision and the Township’s border with Schwenksville Borough. This tract was purchased in 2011 for open space purposes at a cost of $500,000.00, using revenue from the Township’s Open Space tax.

 

The Township now believes that this land is not optimal for open space purposes and therefore desires to sell this tract to the highest bidder to be developed as Elderly Residential housing units consistent with its current zoning. Proceeds from the sale of this tract will be used as follows: the first $500,000.00 to replenish the Open Space fund for future land acquisitions; and, any excess proceeds will go to the Township’s General Fund.

 

The Township Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission approve this plan; but, the Open Space Lands Act requires the Township to put this question to its electorate to determine if a majority of the voters participating in the November 7, 2017, General Election approve of this sale on these terms.

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