Whether citizens believe the change is a good idea probably depends on whether they are in their peak earning years or have retired.
According to David Sallack, a consultant who addressed the Chambersburg School Board last week, boards that want access to future slot-machine cash to hold down local taxes must agree to raise the earned-income tax rate from .05 percent to 0.6 percent.
Then, Sallack said, the board must either raise the earned income tax by an additional amount, or replace it with a personal-income tax, or PIT, that citizens could vote up or down in November 2007.
The PIT would cover items in addition to salaries or wages, including interest income and stock dividends.
Either way, additional taxes on income would fund homestead or farmstead exemptions and the Chambersburg district exemption could be as high as $446 per dwelling.
Whether an individual taxpayer would benefit or not can be determined by subtracting the amount of the additional income tax from the farmstead exemption. For many moderate-income property owners, there will be a savings. For those who rent, the new taxing arrangement will mean a loss.
That's the question, then: Do taxpayers who don't own property oppose the plan, knowing that such a stance could hurt them down the road when they become property owners?
We urge all citizens to look at their own situations - and how they might change - and offer input to local school boards as soon as possible.