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Municipal primary election is on Tuesday, May 21
Haycock opposes state code-enforcement proposal
Route 352 and King Road meeting set for June 5
Middletown to have open space referendum
Pottstown school board considers music cuts to balance budget
City officials announce down payment assistance program for first-time home buyers
John McFadden brings nearly three decades of real estate experience to the SRA board, plus firsthand knowledge of local government. He has served as a commissioner in Springfield Township and as chairman of Delaware County Council. He's also one of the founders of the annual Run for Heroes, a 5k fundraiser that provides scholarships to children of Delaware County first responders killed in the line of duty.
2017-18 Vice Chairman, Suburban Realtors® Alliance
RE/MAX Hometown Realtors®
Hometown (born/raised): Born in Southwest Philadelphia, raised in Aldan
Hometown (current): Springfield, Delaware County
Years as a Realtor®: 29
Why did you first join the Alliance Board?
What do you see as the most important legislative issue for Realtors® right now?
Fair and balanced tax reform both locally and nationally. Locally, I don't see any of the leading state plans accomplishing that, and nationally, I am worried about cutting taxes when our national debt is out of control.
You can earn a good income from selling real estate,
but you can build wealth by owning real estate.
How do you like to spend your time when you're not working?
What is one piece of advice you would give to a new Realtor®?
What book(s) is on your nightstand?
Mini-casinos are coming to Pennsylvania, and municipalities across the commonwealth have until the end of the year to decide whether to prohibit them within their borders.
On Oct. 30, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law House Bill 271, a gambling expansion act that allows for up to 10 satellite casinos, each having between 300 and 750 slot machines and up to 40 table games.
Ten of the state’s 12 existing casinos will be able to bid on licenses to open these "category 4" satellite casinos with slot machines, with minimum bids starting at $7.5 million. A table games certificate will cost the winning bidders an extra $2.5 million. The new casinos are already not allowed in certain places — within 25 miles of an existing casino owned by another company, or within a county that already has a category 3 resort casino, such as Montgomery County and its Valley Forge Casino Resort.
While some municipalities may encourage mini-casinos to open in hopes of boosting the local economy, those who wish to prohibit the new casinos are on a tight deadline. Each municipality must pass a resolution banning the casinos and deliver it to the state Gaming Control Board by Dec. 31, 2017.
Municipalities that do so and later wish to allow the casinos may subsequently rescind their resolutions, but they may not change back again. For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board website.
Fans of the Netflix show Stranger Things might feel like they've entered the murky world of The Upside Down as they read over details of tax reform bills in Congress now.
Case in point: the Senate tax reform bill, dubbed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, would hurt middle-income homeowners but give tax breaks to private jet owners.
According to Yahoo News:
The new Senate tax bill will give those who own or lease private planes breaks on the amount they pay to companies for maintenance, storage, fueling and even when they want to hire pilots and a crew onboard.
The proposal is tucked in the middle of the controversial bill's latest version, dubbed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The House approved the bill Thursday and it's now headed to the Senate.
The good news is pushing back on this ill-informed legislation isn't as perilous as battling the monsters from Stranger Things. It's as easy as contacting your elected officials in Washington and letting them know you think homeowners shouldn’t have to pay for corporate tax cuts with their home equity.
The National Association of Realtors® engaged KSE Focus to analyze the impact of the mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The results show that Pennsylvania homeowners would be hit hard if these deductions are removed or rendered useless by tax reform legislation currently being considered.
Here are the results of KSE's analysis:
Facts on the Mortgage Interest and Real Estate Tax Deductions in Pennsylvania
Of the approximately 3,404,000 owner-occupied houses in Pennsylvania in 2014, 2,062,000 or 61% had a mortgage.
In 2014, 1,354,200 taxpayers in Pennsylvania claimed a deduction for mortgage interest (MID). The total amount deducted was $9,863,101,000. This means that the average taxpayer claiming the MID subtracted $7,300 from taxable income in 2014 as a result of the MID.
At a marginal rate of 25 percent1 , this means that the average taxpayer saved $1,820 in taxes as a result of the MID. The total tax savings from the MID in Pennsylvania in 2014 was $2,465,775,250.
In 2014, 1,592,700 taxpayers in Pennsylvania claimed a deduction for real estate taxes. The total amount deducted was $8,005,489,000. This means that the average taxpayer claiming the real estate tax deduction subtracted $5,050 from taxable income in 2014.
At a marginal rate of 25 percent2 , this means that the average taxpayer saved $1,260 in taxes as a result of the real estate tax deduction. The total savings from the real estate tax deduction in Pennsylvania in 2014 was $2,001,372,250.
If the MID and real estate tax deductions were eliminated, the loss would not be a one-year event; homeowners lose out on these potential savings each and every year. The present value3 of these lost savings could total $114,542,243,600. The value of all owner-occupied real estate in Pennsylvania in 2014 was $697,742,720,400. If the lost tax savings are fully capitalized into the price of houses, the average decline in value in Pennsylvania could be 16%. From the individual perspective, the median priced home in Pennsylvania in 2014 was $160,800. A decline in value as projected could mean a loss in home value of $26,400 for the typical home owner.
1 Marginal rates range from 10 to 35 percent.
3 Present value calculation assumes 3.9 percent discount rate and 1000 year time horizon.
Sources for the data above include: Internal Revenue Service 2014, American Community Survey 2014, National Association of Realtors® 2014; All calculations are by the National Association of Realtors® Research Division, July 2017.
Let your elected officials know how you feel about tax reform that harms homeowners by answering NAR's Call For Action.
Pennsylvania voters on Tuesday approved a statewide property tax referendum affecting local taxing authorities, but that does not mean any changes for taxpayers yet.
We made this graphic to show how things will proceed.