State representative says property tax reform is key issue

Last updated: January 23. 2014 11:39PM - 2281 Views
By Bill O’Boyle

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State Rep. Gerald Mullery

• Age: 43

• Residence: Newport Township/119th Legislative District

• Party: Democratic

• Education: King’s College/Duquesne Law School

• Family: Wife, Michelle; four children.

About the 119th District

• The 119th includes Nanticoke city, the boroughs of Larksville, Plymouth, Sugar Notch, Warrior Run, Freeland, Jeddo, Nuangola, West Hazleton, White Haven; the townships of Dennison, Foster, most of Hazle Township, Newport, Plymouth, Rice, Wright, Slocum and Ward 6 of Hanover Township.

NEWPORT TWP. — The need for property tax reform in Pennsylvania is a top priority for state Rep. Gerald Mullery, who Thursday announced he is seeking a third term in the 119th Legislative District.

Mullery, 43, of Newport Township, said a lot remains to be accomplished in Harrisburg, and the two-term Democrat said elimination of property taxes through House Bill 76 or its counterpart Senate Bill 76 is the best way to address the issue.

Given to what Mullery says has been the failure of the General Assembly to address real property tax reform, he believes he has more to do in Harrisburg.

“Every day, I am questioned by constituents about property tax relief,” Mullery said. “I will continue to be a vocal leader in support of the Property Tax Independence Act and will not stop until seniors and families no longer have to worry about losing their homes because of our antiquated tax system.”

Mullery, who has served in the state House since 2010, said he favors increasing the state income and sales taxes to offset the elimination or reduction of property taxes. He said an amendment has been offered to the House and Senate bills that would offer provisions should the sales or incomes tax revenue decline due to adverse economic conditions.

“And I would support that amendment,” he said.

Mullery said he remains committed to addressing issues important to his constituents: the creation of family-sustaining jobs, lower taxes, quality education and safe neighborhoods.

He highlighted his work with local elected officials and business leaders to promote investment in his district, such as Luzerne County Community College, Geisinger Health System, Commonwealth Health, Sallie Mae and countless small businesses.

Mullery said equally as important is government reform, an area that has found him leading by example.

“From day one, I have fought to change the culture in Harrisburg,” he said. “I’ve never taken a per diem, I’ve returned every penny of my COLAs, voluntarily contributed a portion of my benefit premiums, and introduced and supported legislation to decrease the size and cost of state government.”

Mullery called attention to a recent investigation that revealed he incurred the fourth least cost per legislator in the state house.

“I understand we are paid with taxpayer money and I do everything in my power to make certain it is spent wisely,” Mullery said.

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