Share pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion’s cost equally

The Morning Call - - TOWN SQUARE -

Free pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion ben­e­fits so­ci­ety as a whole. There­fore so­ci­ety as a whole shares the bur­den of pro­vid­ing it for those who need it.

But wait, pub­lic school fund­ing in Pennsylvan­ia is not shared by the whole of so­ci­ety. Us­ing prop­erty as­sess­ments as a ba­sis for levy­ing school taxes is not fair. I pay more tax than my neigh­bor does be­cause my house is big­ger. No two homes on any given street pay the same amount.

That sys­tem is ar­chaic and a grossly in­equitable dis­tri­bu­tion of bur­den. This sys­tem made sense in the Mid­dle Ages when wealthy barons and no­bil­ity owned all the land and the only other class of peo­ple rented.

So what’s bet­ter? In­creas­ing sales tax? Adding food, cloth­ing, di­a­pers, etc. to the list of tax­ables? How about in­creas­ing earned in­come tax or tax­ing retirement ben­e­fits? These are all in­equitable dis­tri­bu­tions of the bur­den.

I think the answer starts with agree­ing on the definition of fair. To me, the so­lu­tion will be fair when ev­ery­one pays the same amount.

Randall Hart­man Beth­le­hem

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