Random thoughts

DAVE WELKER

Mill Hall

My mind is becoming overwhelmed. Pennsylvania is my home state, although I’ve lived in others and visited many more. Believe me when I say there are much cheaper places to live. I’ve seen statistics on people leaving the state. Hardly a mass exodus, but nonetheless it’s happening. I like Pennsylvania, but have wanderlust because I see no end to the rising cost to live in this state.

My wife and I are both retired now and having to negotiate through Medicare and various supplemental plans was difficult. Social Security income is finite. Pennsylvania is considered to be a tax-friendly state for retirees.

If it is, I certainly don’t see it.

It’s true Pennsylvania doesn’t tax Social Security income and investment income taxes … yet, and they don’t tax food or clothing … yet.

But we have one of the highest ranked tax-and-spend governors in the country. Our gasoline tax is the highest in the country.

So far as I know, that wholesale gasoline tax is 58 eight cents a gallon above the 18-cent federal tax.

That sounds more like a sin tax to me, like liquor or cigarette taxes.

I paid our property tax in person last year. My wife usually does that. I gave the nice clerk a check and she thanked me and said, “See you again in a couple months.”

I asked why. “That’s when you pay your school taxes,” she replied. I asked how much that will be and she replied with a smile, “Oh, double that amount.”

Now that the impact fee on natural gas has morphed into an extraction fee, wait and see how much your natural gas bill rises.

I think Pennsylvania should change from the Keystone State to the Grant State. Usually any program or progress written about is funded by a grant of some sort. For instance: Keystone Central School Board appeared to cut its pre-kindergarten education program as a cost savings. I applauded them. It’s not state law and they can’t afford it.

To me, if you want your child to attend Pre-K, there are local pre-schools to choose from. I can’t afford to pay for it. But, along comes a grant and it seems like it might be back on the curriculum.

Who funds the grant?

We do; whether state or federal, it’s our taxes.

I’d like to applaud the individual who brought the idea to the Lock Haven City Council for recycling its own treatment plant discharge water for in-house maintenance. Divert some of the water from the discharge line to Bald Eagle Creek when needed.

Simple. A couple valves, pumps, hoses, etc. and done. Not exactly brilliant but commendable.

Not much engineering would be involved. The city probably has a maintenance staff that can or should handle it. Maybe a few grand will pay for it.

But no! A great idea morphed into flooding citywide water lines with it as well. This grandiose plan now needs a grant for approximately $450,000. I sure would like to see the cost benefits of such a project without council spin.

The city cost, I think, is about 10 percent of the grant, but where does that initial money come from?

State funding. Where does that come from?

Our taxes.

Ultimately, that’s where grants come from.

Have you been to your dentist lately? No? Drive up Water Street from town to the college. It will jar your fillings.

The manhole covers don’t come to the level of the street. If you try to avoid them you’re probably going to be cited for reckless driving. I guess the City Council didn’t contract for paving risers. It’s unacceptable and should be repaired. Maybe they can get a grant.

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