Vereb seeks a fourth term as Pa. state rep­re­sen­ta­tive

The Colonial - - FRONT PAGE - By Tony Fioriglio

State Rep. Mike sereb, R-150, who is seek­ing a fourth term as the rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the 150th dis­trict in the Penn­syl­va­nia House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, re­cently spoke on a num­ber of top­ics in­clud­ing his past achieve­ments, job growth in the area and the need for a com­plete over­haul of the cur­rent prop­erty tax sys­tem.

“We have to stop the bleed­ing,” sereb said. “There’s no doubt about that, but we have to rec­og­nize that there’s al­ready a lot of blood on the floor.”

sereb, who was one of the spon­sors of HB 1776, which pro­posed re­plac­ing prop­erty tax with an in­crease in both sales tax and per­sonal in­come tax, ac­knowl­edged that that piece of leg­is­la­tion may have had some is­sues but it served a pur­pose by fur­ther­ing the con­ver­sa­tion about prop­erty tax re­form, which was needed.

“We are hav­ing more con­ver­sa­tion, more dis­cus­sion and there is now a spe­cial com­mit­tee,” sereb said. “It’s bi­par­ti­san in the House. They’re look­ing at all the things that we have done and are about to do or try­ing to with prop­erty tax re­form. We’re fo­cus­ing on 100 per­cent elim­i­na­tion and go­ing to an al­ter­na­tive tax­a­tion pos­si­bly.”

Re­cently, ad­di­tional dis­cus­sion has been brought up that would sep­a­rate res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial prop­er­ties for tax­a­tion pur­poses. By do­ing so, res­i­dents could re­ceive prop­erty tax re­lief, while com­mer­cial prop­er­ties could help bridge the fi­nan­cial gap that leg­is­la­tion such as HB 1776 would leave.

“It’s go­ing to take what­ever con­sti­tu­tional changes we need to do it,” sereb said. “The bot­tom line is, no mat­ter how young folks are in my dis­trict, we need to re­mem­ber that we’re a bed­room community and we have se­nior cit­i­zens that are not just forced out of their home, but they are evac­u­at­ing their homes be­cause they can no longer af­ford to pay prop­erty taxes, to pay the in­creased fuel cost, the in­creased oil cost, the in­creased cost of liv­ing when they’re stuck with a fixed liv­ing in­come with no op­por­tu­nity for in­creased rev­enue.”

Along with po­ten­tial prop­erty tax re­form, sereb also spoke of in­creased job growth and an in­crease in the num­ber of busi­nesses in the area, which he be­lieves could also help re­lieve some of the prop­erty tax burden for the res­i­dents of the 150th dis­trict and across the state.

“We all know about the un­for­tu­nate clos­ing of the Wyeth Com­pany and Pfizer pur­chas­ing them and the job loss from that. We worked, both Republicans and Democrats at the state and fed­eral level, to keep jobs in that com­plex,” said sereb. “Dow has moved into our re­gion. They were in an­other re­gion of the county and think­ing of leav­ing, but the fa­cil­ity at Wyeth and Pfizer cer­tainly had met their needs. That’s some­thing like 900 jobs that are go­ing to be com­ing into this dis­trict in the near fu­ture.”

sereb also briefly dis­cussed HB 1610, which he spon­sored and is known as the “Sud­den Car­diac Ar­rest Preven­tion Act.” The leg­is­la­tion, which is the first of its kind in the coun­try, re­quires par­ents, coaches, ad­min­is­tra­tors and stu­dent-ath­letes to re­ceive train­ing on the symp­toms of sud­den car­diac ar­rest and how to han­dle a sit­u­a­tion, should it arise.

“This leg­is­la­tion es­sen­tially man­dates train­ing of all par­tic­i­pants, from ath­letes to their par­ents to coaches to um­pires to ath­letic train­ers and to make sure that ev­ery­one is aware of the symp­toms of sud­den car­diac ar­rest and make sure that if they see a child suf­fer­ing from those symp­toms that they have them re­moved and get them to seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion,” sereb said. “It’s the No. 1 killer of youth ath­letes in the coun­try, sud­den car­diac ar­rest, and just two week­ends ago when I had my own two chil­dren screened for it, there had been three ac­tual chil­dren who had suf­fered sud­den car­diac ar­rest on their play­ing fa­cil­i­ties, whether it’s a field or a court, and they were saved.”

Fi­nally, sereb dis­cussed the re­cent con­tro­versy sur­round Penn­syl­va­nia’s soter ID law and the rul­ing of Com­mon­wealth Court Judge Robert Simp­son that the law was con­sti­tu­tional but would not be in place for this elec­tion.

“This was what ap­peared to be a com­mon sense bill and I think the judge made a com­mon sense de­ci­sion to give the chance to the state to come up with the right way to get peo­ple ID for the next elec­tion,” said sereb. “It ap­peared to be­come a par­ti­san is­sue but I sup­ported the bill be­cause there’s not much you can do in life with­out ID.”

sereb closed by ex­plain­ing how he plans on serv­ing the con­stituents of the 150th dis­trict if his re-elec­tion cam­paign is suc­cess­ful.

“We are go­ing to work hard on the Prop­erty Tax Elim­i­na­tion Act. We’re go­ing to work hard on cre­at­ing jobs here in our re­gion,” said sereb. “We are go­ing to re­main com­mit­ted to the high­est work ethic and ethics that I can as I have for the past six years.”

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