Wake up, Bedford County taxpayers! If you got the following communication, get out your money if you wish to preserve your way of life in Bedford County! Rural life as you know it is leaving!

In accordance with Pennsylvania state statutes, the county has completed a revaluation of all real property effective for the Jan. 1, 2010, assessment roll. The county’s last revaluation was in 1957 and property values have change dramatically since then. The purpose of the revaluation is to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of the property tax burden.

What are the state statutes and why are they not listed on the property revaluation notice? Somebody please explain how anyone could feel this revaluation is the fair and equitable distribution of property tax burden if they own real estate in Bedford County, Pa.

As I recall in the beginning, it was our own local elected officials who got the ball rolling. Surely, the lawsuit filed, using our own local tax dollars, against the Bedford County commissioners, by our own local school districts, had nothing to do with your tax increase.

Surely, this pending lawsuit did not influence the board of commissioners to the point of doing property re-evaluations. Once the commissioners succumbed, the lawsuit was dropped. What do you think?

Who are the winners in all of this insanity?

1) State government and state politicians — They mandate to local government, policy and programs for education, transportation, environmental and social programs are started at the state level and then the funding is cut. Of course the governor is quick to take credit for tax cuts at the state level.

2) Local government — county commissioners, school boards, township supervisors, borough councils no longer need to make those difficult decisions with regard to employees salaries and benefits and capital expenditures. More money for their coffers!

3) People who own nothing! They receive all the benefits and have little cost. Utilize all the public programs for welfare, education, transportation, etc.

Who picks up the tab? The taxpayer at the local level gets punished, you and I.

Let’s revisit America’s history by reviewing fundamental facts stated by Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, They are:

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer,

You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds.

You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

You cannot build character and courage by taking a man’s initiative and independence,

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

You decide, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer. Do you stay silent and let this happen? Or do we stand squarely united with each other for the values our forefathers put forth and defeat socialism before it is too late!

Thomas J. O’Neal

Clearville, Pa.

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