Organized religion is joining the fight for public education in Pennsylvania! On Monday, Essential Public Radio reported that Methodists delivered pies to the offices of their state legislators to protest the budget cuts. They were small pies, according to Steve Drachler, Executive Director of United Methodist Advocacy, “because we believe that the governor’s budget proposal is too small. We believe that the pie should be made bigger so that Pennsylvania can meet its obligation to the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, our children, and the elderly.”
The pie activists suggested that Governor Corbett fairly tax corporations by closing the Delaware Loophole (currently costing our state $500 million in missed tax revenue every year) and keeping the capital stock and franchise tax (Gov. Corbett wants to eliminate these as a gift to corporations, which will cost the state $200 million in revenue every year). Drachler added that “by delaying the reduction in the casino tax and setting up enforcement of tax laws the state would gain $140-$150 million dollars.” (See also the list of revenue ideas Yinzercation has collected.)
These suggestions echo the demands of education advocates across the state who are asking for tax fairness. The Methodists told the Governor to “go after the money that’s already there … [g]o after the money that is rightfully Pennsylvania’s, that is important to support education.” On Tuesday, April 17th – tax day – we will be asking just that at our Mock Bake Sale. We’ll be making the point that we couldn’t possibly sell enough cookies to make up for the $172 million budget gap our schools in Southwest Pennsylvania are facing.
Whether pie or cookies, our legislators are getting an ear (and mouth) full. Keep baking and talking! Victory will be sweet.