Vereb seeks a fourth term as Pa. state representative
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.”