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From the Desk of
County Commissioner Snyder

(Sept, 2010) Remember the deep snow banks and the 90 + degrees for weeks? Well, Fall is on the way and how quick we forget the past. Well, the election season is nearing. In Pennsylvania we will be electing a United States Senator and a U. S. House of Representative member to represent Adams County. In the state of Pennsylvania we will be electing A new Governor, Lt. Governor, and Adams County will be electing two State Representatives.

This country and the world are going through some of the most difficult economic times since the great depression. The issues that need to be dealt with are do we continue to create more debt, raise taxes, or provide services with the money we have? How do we resolve the pension issue here in Pennsylvania? What about high unemployment rate? These are all issues facing the new or re-elected officials in the next few years. So listen and talk to these individuals about your concerns and how will THEY address these issues. With that said, November 2nd is Election Day and it will be very important to elect the person you feel most comfortable to represent you and all the people in this State and County.

One issue that comes to my mind that I did not mention which has been on everyone's radar has been Property Tax Relief. We have been talking about it for many years. People want tax relief through a menu of local tax options; counties and municipal governments want to provide tax relief with flexibility in structuring taxes to meet the economic and demographic needs of local communities. The majority of state lawmakers are interested in providing property tax relief to their constituents.

The public is ready for a change in local taxation. They have spoken repeatedly against real estate taxes that continue to rise disproportionately to their ability to pay. And recent county reassessments have drawn renewed interest in the real estate tax. Local communities should have options a menu of taxes that counties individually or regionally can chose to levy based on their unique location, economic climate and types of taxpayers. Adams County has numerous properties that are tax exempt. A sales tax is a great alternative for Adams County because they have a great deal of tourism.

If Adams County could collect one cent on the dollar in sales tax it would be able to decrease taxes on property owners. I would encourage you to discuss this issue with all candidates from the Governor candidates to Local House Representatives or anyone who represents these candidates. Ask them what their plans are to address this issue and let them know you no longer want to hear excuses or finger pointing, you want to see results!

If you do not know, County Governments only source of revenue to pay for services is the Real Estate Tax. Counties throughout the state have been lobbying the State of Pennsylvania to amend the county code to allow for a menu of options to shift the burden off real estate taxes to sales tax, income or some other sources to generate revenue to operate County Government.

I hear it said quite often that there is no need for local township or borough officials and the efficiently or inefficiently of local government. Township and boroughs for a number of years have been sharing resources and doing regional planning to be more efficient and still keep their identities. The local elected officials are the closest government to the people.

The Township supervisors and borough council persons are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of each municipality. Sometimes local officials do shrug their responsibilities and depend on other governments to assume the obligations of local government.

The elected supervisors and borough council also live in the municipality to enjoy the benefits and suffer the consequences of his or her decisions in implementing the policies and procedures of the municipality; as well as the school boards in each school district.

I know south of the border County Government has the responsibilities for most services that county, local and school officials do north of the border, but I have not seen any study that shows any cost savings. So for now this will remain the type of government in Pennsylvania.

By the time you read this article all schools will be back in session, respect those children in your travels. Keep safety in mind at all times!

Remember to exercise your right and vote on November 2nd, Election Day!

Read other articles from Adams County Commissioners