I don't like paying higher taxes either, but, truthfully, the City of Meadville is in a bind. Some writers have pointed to nearby townships and boroughs being able to manage without tax hikes. This is not a fair comparison as the townships and boroughs do not have as large a percentage of untaxable real estate as the city does.

Over the past decades, the college and medical center bought large tracts of real estate containing dozens of nice owner-occupied houses along with a handful of commercial establishments. These formerly tax-paying properties are now off the rolls. I understand there may be voluntary payments made in lieu of taxes (PILOT), but I don't know how they would compare to paying full tax rates.

The real solution would be changes in Pennsylvania laws and constitution to allow the affected local governments to tax these "non-profits" and their acres of parking lots at full assessment.

TOM FINDLAY

Meadville

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