Daily Archives: March 30, 2007

Tangled Act 1 & the PA Primary

OK.  I am learning there’s a reason that A)  Nobody knows anything about local politics, and B)  The national parties amply reward those who do.

So one of the reasons the PA GOP is against moving up the primary is because it would shorten the election season for challengers to campaign against new democrat incumbents.

An even bigger reason, though, is that with the advent of Act 1 property tax relief school boards need to put prospective tax increases over the rate of inflation to the voters for approval during the primary election.  Moving up the primary date effectively means school boards will have to decide, for example, in the fall of 2006 what money they may need to ask for on the prospective February 2007 primary ballot for the school year that ends in 2008.  Then new school board members might get elected, and they have to live with whatever budgetary decisions their predecessors have made.  Get it?  No?  Join the club.

Turns out, though, it doesn’t really matter in the long run.  You see, according to the Pennsyltucky Politics post here, 210 of Pennsylvania’s 501 school districts have already asked to be exempt.

So, we can’t move up the primary because it will mess with the way school boards manage their finances and ask for higher budgets, except for the fact that about half of them are already fixing to arrange it so they can ask for however much they want, regardless of their constituents.

So it seems we are moving towards a system where A)  Rendell gets to claim he provided property tax relief, B)  As many school districts as possible are going to try to get around it, C)  Districts who do get nominal assistance have to surrender some curricula control to the state, D)  Voters end up having little say in how much their taxes get raised, and E) Primary voters have no say in who becomes president of the US, but F)  Through straw polls the respective state party leaderships may get a say in who becomes president.