Will Ron Tomalis Reject School District Tax Shopping?

It would be really bad precedent if Tom Corbett’s Education secretary lets people switch school districts because they want to pay lower taxes:

The coalition has cited financial reasons for the secession because Riegelsville residents are taxed differently than the district’s Northampton County taxpayers.

Riegelsville taxes rose 30 percent in 2006, while taxes for Northampton County taxpayers rose 4.5 percent. That was because the district was required to readjust assessments based on a state formula at the time.

Both the Easton Area and Palisades school districts oppose the secession movement. The move could adversely affect Palisades’ state subsidy, according to court documents, and would also cost Easton about $1.4 million in taxes.

This is why you need county-wide school districts. It’s going to be a mess if Ron Tomalis sets off an even more explicit price war between school districts. The tax rate should be uniform across a large area to prevent housing market distortions and segregation by income. A county-sized school district would be ideal in my opinion, but even combining two or three adjacent districts would be preferable to the current set-up, and certainly better than the massive segregation that would follow a a decision in favor of Riegelsville.

[Source: Colin McEvoy]


  1. What the author fails to realize is that Riegelsville is in a very unique position throught the Commonwealth of PA. Not only is Riegelsville borough split right down the middle – one half of the borough attending the Palisades school district already, but then the eastern half attending EASD, which is out of county… travels through another school district (Wilson Area). The courts have ruled this matter back to the Secretary of Education because they feel that the Riegelsville Tax & Education Coalition has proved there is "educational merits" to seceed from EASD. The courts also feel the former Sec. of Education had erred in law in his decision by not following the guidelines of the General Assembly… allowing the borough to be divided in half allowing Riegelsville children to attend two seperate districts. Any citizen of Pennsylvania may try and seceed from one district and attend another but they will still have to follow the very strict procedures to do so. It is NOT a easy process but it is their RIGHT. So I say…. this is not about taxes and about what's right for the Riegelsville Boroughs children.

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