Editor’s note: This is a well-written opinion piece from the Fishwrap that was sent to Governor Corbett and other state and local officials. Sums up the state of Pottstown pretty well.
An open letter sent to Gov. Corbett and copied to state Rep. Thomas Quigley and Pottstown Mayor Bonnie Heath.
There’s a lovely stone house for sale on High Street in Pottstown. Yes, it’s our house. It’s reasonably priced and has piqued the curiosity of many prospective buyers but one item makes them turn and run. “What is so frightening?” you ask. It’s the property taxes! Over $7,500 per year on a house assessed at $150,000. That’s outrageous! We have friends in other Montgomery County communities such as Springfield Township, Abington and Upper Dublin. Their houses are assessed higher than ours but, in some cases, they pay less than half our taxes. There is something drastically wrong with this scenario. Pottstown ranks seventh in school taxes out of 500 Pennsylvania districts. We also rank at the top for producing underachieving students. We have 13.4 percent of our residents over 65, an inordinate number of Section 8 and transient residents in this blue-collar town, and high unemployment. Property values are spiraling downward, creating a dismal sinking into the quicksand of urban destruction.
Our delusional council and school board keep raising taxes as though we were a booming town but we’ve lost our industrial base that employed hundreds at Bethlehem Steel, Firestone, Mrs. Smith’s Pies and other long-gone businesses. Sadly, we’ve also had to say good-bye to our wonderful Pottstown Symphony.