TARA ON THE ISSUES
Property Tax Reform
Property tax reform is a carrot dangled in front of voters every election cycle for over a decade. Tara believes in creating bi-partisan legislation that addresses the causes of high property taxes. The problem is inextricably tied to the State’s underfunding of K-12 programs, which forces local communities to rely heavily on local property taxes to provide quality schools. The solution: targeted property tax relief combined with adequate and equitable state funding for schools. Tax relief needs to be directed at moderate to low income taxpayers and especially our seniors.
Fair Funding for Public, Higher & Technical Education
Investing in a quality education is necessary to not only prepare our workforce but to provide opportunities for long-term economic growth. PA is ranked 47th in K-12 education funding and 50th for higher education. This is unacceptable. Gaps in wealth among different regions profoundly impact school funding because property tax is collected at different rates depending on the housing and amount of commercial activity generating tax revenue. Through the Fair Funding Formula, the State can adequately and equitably fund K-12 education, State Universities and Community Colleges and provide grants for technical job training and apprenticeship programs.
Protect Clean Air & Clean Water
The Pennsylvania Constitution grants “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment,” § 27. These rights should not be violated for the profit of corporate polluters at the expense of public health and safety. We can prioritize our environment while creating permanent, high quality union jobs. Pennsylvania must take the lead by transitioning to clean, sustainable energy like wind, solar and geothermal and creating goals to combat climate change.
Job Creation & Small Businesses
We see now more than ever how integral small businesses are in our communities. We must protect small businesses and ensure they have the ability to grow because when local businesses thrive, our community thrives. Tara plans to work to bring home resources to revitalize our downtown areas and ensure we train the next generations of entrepreneurs.
Worker's Rights and a
Strong Middle Class
We must protect and grow the middle class and strengthen our unions. With stagnant wages and rising costs in healthcare, housing and the basic necessities have most families living paycheck to paycheck. Tara believes in a $15 minimum wage because no one working 40 hours a week should live in poverty. Tara supports tax increases on big corporations to close the budget gap, fair labor standards including paid sick leave, vacation and protection against discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and sexual identity.
Healthcare for All
No one should die or suffer because they can’t afford a visit to the emergency room or life sustaining medicine. Every day, many Pennsylvanians delay medical treatment until their symptoms turn into an emergency. They are forced to make decisions between groceries or medicine, rent or health insurance and going to work sick or taking unpaid leave. Contractual, freelance workers, and part-time workers pay disproportionately more for their healthcare while often making less than those in a salaried positions. As long as healthcare is tied to full-time employment, there will be workers who are uninsured. This is unacceptable.
Healthcare is a human right. Tara will fight to expand coverage to dental & vision and with no more premiums, no deductibles, no copays, no surprise bills. Tara will stand up to drug companies by capping what we pay for prescription drugs.
Pennsylvania is one of the most corrupt states in the nation and the reason is because Pennsylvania Lawmakers are allowed to accept unlimited gifts and lucrative job offers that create a revolving door from legislation to lobbying for special interests. There are too many ways to bribe legislators to use their political influence in favor or special interests who funnel millions of dollars in Harrisburg. Tara is not accepting money from corporate interest groups. Tara supports a gift ban from lobbyists to legislators. She will work to strengthen anti-corruption laws to put an end to the revolving door and stop open bribery from lobbyists and Super PACs.