Property Taxes Are Killing Pottstown

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Gov. Corbett:

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.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120928/OPINION02/120929459/property-taxes-are-killing-pottstown

The Pottstown Arts & Cultural Alliance

I recently learned of this organization and feel it is important to spread the word that this organization exists and what exactly they are doing to help Pottstown! 

So what exactly is the Pottstown Arts & Cultural Alliance? 

According to their website it is:

The Pottstown Arts & Cultural Alliance is a result of the collective vision of its founding members: The Gallery School of Pottstown @ Gallery on High, Pottstown Symphony Orchestra, and Village Productions/Tri-County Performing Arts Center.

Our Mission

The mission of the Pottstown Arts & Cultural Alliance is to bring together the arts and cultural organizations of Pottstown for the purpose of articulating and promoting a unified vision.

Our Vision

A cultural district in downtown Pottstown that will increase cultural tourism and awareness of the social and educational importance of the arts.

The arts, cultural activities and tourism are a means of revitalization and economic development for places like Pottstown.  Having a riverfront is a key part.  The Schuylkill River is Pottstown’s southern boundary and flows a few short blocks from High Street. 

An added benefit would be the Montgomery County Community College West Campus and the Hill School.  These two educational resources bring many people into Pottstown who would have an interest in arts, culture, tourism and entertainment (restaurants and nightlife).  The West Campus is strategically located across College Drive from the river.  Their annex building is on High Street, so the college ties the riverfront to downtown Pottstown.  The Hill School already has an excellent arts and culture program along with their own performing arts center and is located at 717 High Street.

The Urban Land Institute report advised Pottstown’s leadership that in order to revitalize this community, a strategy of arts, culture and entertainment should be embraced.  To that end, the Pottstown Arts & Cultural Alliance was formed in 2009 to act as an umbrella organization for transforming Pottstown into an arts and entertainment destination.

For more information you can check out their website at:  http://www.pottstownarts.org/alliance

Pottstown Symphony Schedule

Pottstown Symphony Orchestra
610-327-3614
http://www.pottstownsymphony.org

Saturday March 27
8:00 PM Masterworks II
Held at The Hill School Center for the Arts
Beech and Sheridan Streets * Pottstown, PA

Pre Concert Lecture by Kile Smith at 7:15 PM
A Drum Roll, Please

Beethoven: Overture, The Consecration of the House, Op. 124

Haydn: The Heavens are Telling from Creation

Mendelsohn: He Watching Over Israel from Elijah, Sung by the Eastern University Choir

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, Op. 67

Eastern University Choir, vocalists
Malcolm Brashear, Guest Conductor
Tickets: $35/$30/$15