Jane R. Gordon
Focus Group Moderator
January 20, 1997
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lowman S. Henry / (717) 671-0776
OFFICIALS VIEW PROPERTY TAXES
Pittsburgh -- The Lincoln Institute of
Public Opinion Research, Inc. today released results of a
survey which found that Pennsylvania's property-tax based
system has lost much of its credibility with the very
local elected officials who must implement it.
Among other findings of the Lincoln Institute survey:
Fifty-eight percent of the respondents said
they felt their municipality should maintain its
political independence, 39% supported a merger of their
municipality with other municipalities.
percent felt non-profit organizations should be required to pay
property taxes (from which they are currently exempt). Of those
who felt non-profits should continue to be exempt from property
taxes, 72% felt non-profits should pay some type of fee in lieu
***** In Allegheny County, 68% of municipal elected officials would like to eliminate county row offices as elected positions. Their counterparts in Montgomery and Cumberland counties disagreed. Only 46% of Montgomery County local officials and 37% of Cumberland County local officials want to do away with elected county row offices.
Results of the survey were released today in Pittsburgh during a joint news conference between the Lincoln Institute and the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy Research which simultaneously released a study on local government and regionalism. Complete results of the Lincoln Institute poll are published in the January edition of the Lincoln Institute-Sindlinger Economic Report, a quarterly journal of public opinion published by the Lincoln Institute which is a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation based in Harrisburg, PA.
In conducting the survey, the Lincoln Institute mailed 1,000 surveys to elected municipal officials (city & borough mayors, council members and treasurers, township commissioners, supervisors and tax collectors) in Allegheny, Cumberland and Montgomery counties on Monday, December 2, 1996. By the response deadline of December 20, 1996, 251 valid surveys were completed and returned to the Lincoln Institute for a response rate of 25.1%.