I am writing to introduce myself. My name is Calvin “Doc” Clements, DVM, CCRP retired. Over the years, I owned and operated four veterinary clinics, plus veterinary centers for rehabilitation and imaging. I practiced in this area for 35 years. If I never had the pleasure of meeting you, many of your neighbors can attest to my 70-hour work weeks to provide quality 24/7 veterinary care. Today, I farm and I volunteer my expertise to a canine rescue. I am running to represent you and everyone living in Pennsylvania House District 101. Although I never envisioned running for office, when I learned of my opponent’s radical proposals, I couldn’t allow them to go unchallenged.
When I heard that Frank Ryan wrote a bill to tax my retirement income, money which had already been taxed, I knew that there needed to be a better way to solve the problem of property tax affordability. In addition to the retirement income tax, he also included provisions to raise sales tax and broaden the items subject to sales tax to include
food and clothing. These kinds of measures hurt the very people Ryan says he’s trying to help: seniors whose property taxes price them out of their homes. Shifting this tax burden to seniors in the form of a different tax is egregious and dishonest.
I don’t see how someone can call a bill a “tax eliminator” when it
introduces three new taxes and raises others. It is a
tax shift that will mean you pay more money to the government so that large corporations see a huge cut in their tax expenses while you and I pay more than our fair share to make up the difference. I don’t know about you, but I am exasperated by doing too much so that some companies can do too little. I don’t like the precedent that would be set by allowing Ryan to create a new local tax, especially with a legislature that struggles to
form a budget, let alone
stick to one.
School taxes can be alleviated in an equitable fashion. Seniors living below a certain income level should be given a school tax exemption as is currently done for disabled veterans. Corporate taxes should increase to partially offset the reduction in school taxes, and the Earned Income Tax (EIT), which already exists, should be levied to make up the difference while keeping school funding local. The issue has been exacerbated for years by a bloated legislature that we do not need and cannot afford.
Beyond the issue of school tax, it is time to reform the legislature. Pennsylvania has 203 representatives and 50 senators. It is
the most expensive state legislature in the nation, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel any more represented than your average American. By cutting the legislature down to about half its current size,
we could save about $10 million in representative salaries alone, and that’s before factoring in pensions, healthcare, vacation, and per diem pay. For the price, they should be able to represent more people.
Many of you have known me for my thirty-five years of practice as a man of practical solutions who represents your values and has earned your trust. I have presented just a few of my proposals to bring COMMON SENSE to PA government, and I promise my focus will always be bringing practical solutions to real problems. If you find my views are consistent with yours, then I want to earn your vote.
Because of the many costs associated with a campaign, I would also welcome
$1,$5,$10 or larger dollar contributions to fund this grassroots movement to turn the focus of our government from special interests to the people.
Dr. Calvin Clements
Candidate for House District 101