Mar. 16, 2015

HARRISBURG – Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) today challenged Gov. Tom Wolf on claims that the governor’s budget proposal would offer tax relief to residents of the Cornwall-Lebanon School District.
Diamond made his comments as Wolf visited Ebenezer Elementary School to tout a plan that would supposedly reduce property taxes, saying that the governor continues to rely on clever and complicated accounting gimmicks to misrepresent the massive tax hikes in the Wolf plan.
“People hear the governor say that the Cornwall-Lebanon School District would receive $7.4 million in property tax relief under his plan, and they think they’re going to come out ahead. But that simply isn’t true,” said Diamond. “What the governor didn’t mention is that district residents would pay $15.2 million more in new sales and personal income taxes under his plan. That means taxpayers would actually see an overall tax increase of more than $7.8 million in exchange for only $689,000 in additional revenue for education. That’s not just a tax relief shell game, that’s bait and switch.”
Diamond said that Cornwall-Lebanon School District residents aren’t alone among those who would pay more under the Wolf plan. Statewide, taxpayers in 404 school districts would see hikes in sales and personal income taxes that would outweigh any proposed property tax relief. A new website has been established to allow citizens to see how Wolf’s plan would impact their districts. It can be accessed at
Diamond said that his top legislative priority remains the elimination of school property taxes, not partial relief schemes like those proposed by the governor.
“We’ve seen promises that property taxes would go down before – where is our casino-related property tax relief we were supposed to get?” asked Diamond. “The truth is that partial relief never comes, and it certainly won’t under the Wolf plan. His proposal returns only 30 cents to taxpayers for every $1 in tax hikes. Let’s stop playing games and finally eliminate school property taxes once and for all.”
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Representative Russ Diamond
102nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ryan Travis, 717.260.6335 /