Date: Thu Feb 9, 2006 5:07 pm
Subject: Wage Taxes and the Pennsylvania Constitution
Speaking of wage taxes, did you know that the local, non-property taxes
in Pennsylvania (from little taxes like the nuisance $5 occupational
privilege taxes, to big taxes like the treasured 1% earned income tax that
school boards love to levy) are all based on Act 511 of 1965, colloquially
known as the Local Tax Enabling Act?
Did you also know that Article 3, Section 10 of the Pennsylvania
Constitution says, "All bills for raising of revenue shall originate in
the House of Representatives...", the identical wording as in the
Constitution for the United States of America?
And did you know that if you go to a law library and look at the
annotation near the very top of Act 511, it said "SB 425", as in "Senate
Unless the House has decided to refer to one of their bills as a "Senate
Bill", obviously the Local Tax Enabling Act did not originate in the
House. Legally speaking, it's "void ab initio" (meaning "bad from the
start") and not a valid law.
Our friends in the Supreme Court have upheld this unarguable violation of
our Constitution, saying (paraphrasing) that no one complained soon
enough. Got that? So if they passed a law against freedom of religion,
for example, and no one notices right away, it's law? Cut me a break!
This is only another piece of proof that there is not an ounce of
integrity left in Harrisburg, not in the legislature, the courts, or the
executive branch. The culture of corruption has permeated their every
action for decades. They may just have well printed our Constitution on
toilet paper and distributed the rolls to every bathroom throughout the
Commonwealth as a constant reminder. Pay raises and repeals, nuisance
taxes, red light cameras, etc. are only the symptoms. The disease is
their lack of integrity, and PaCleanSweep is the cure.
We can disagree over gay marriage, gambling, levels of school funding,
term limits, legislature size, etc., but one thing we should never lose
sight of is our integrity. The Constitution is our job description, love
it or hate it, and if our oaths of office mean anything, then our duty is
clear: We follow the constitution.
In his Farewell Address, George Washington warned about the very issue
Pennsylvania faces today: "If the Constitution be wrong in any particular,
let it be corrected by amendment in the way that the constitution
designates. But let there be no change through usurpation; for though
this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary
weapon by which free governments are destroyed."
Libertarian for Pennsylvania Governor (1998, 2002)
Past Chair, Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (2002-04)
c/o PO Box 260
Cheltenham, Penna. USPO 19012
(215) 881-9696 (voice)
(215) Krawchuk (fax)