Houghton announces bid to unseat Pileggi

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Former Democratic State Rep. wants to take on powerful Majority Leader, says he will fight for property tax reform if elected

Former State Rep. Tom Houghton

WEST GROVE – Former State Rep. Tom Houghton says he intends to challenge State Sen. Dominic Pileggi for the 9th District senate seat in 2012. According to Houghton, the Pileggi is not putting constituents first.

“The three biggest issues facing the people of the 9th district,” Houghton stated, “are property tax reform, jobs, and smart/managed growth. I believe the residents deserve a legislator who makes decisions based on his constituents’ needs, not on his own personal desires to remain in leadership.”

Houghton, a self-employed attorney, graduated from Delaware County’s Interboro High School with a perfect attendance record from K-12. He is also a LaSalle University and Widener Law School graduate. The last 12 years he has lived in southern Chester County with his wife and two children, nine of those years serving as an elected official. The Houghtons’ have also served as foster parents for seven years through Chester County’s Children and Youth agency. Tom is also a YMCA Board Member.

“I am the perfect person to represent this district,” Houghton said. “Half of the district lies in Delaware County, where I grew up and spent the first 30 years of my life. The other half of the district is in Chester County, where I have lived the last 12 years, nine as an elected official. Chester County has some of the best farmland in the nation, and we need to do a better job of preserving that land. Our current state land-use laws need to be revised to give townships more control over zoning. We also need to encourage managed growth in order to revitalize our downtown centers which in turn will create more jobs.”

“As for school property tax reform, the issue has been largely ignored in Harrisburg by legislative leaders including our Senator. When I held property tax town hall forums last term, to discuss this draconian system we rely on to fund our public schools, we had massive turnouts of hundreds of residents, begging for relief. Not only does Senator Pileggi ignore this issue, he fights to cut education funding in our state budgets which only results in local school boards having to raise property taxes on residents to make up for the shortfall.”

With the looming severe basic education cuts recently announced by Governor Corbett, school boards will come under even more pressure to raise property taxes. “As a Senator, I will fight, as I did successfully as a State Representative, to honor the intentions of the 2007 costing out study, getting Harrisburg back to 50 percent funding of our schools. The less Harrisburg funds the more property owners have to pay.”

As a State Rep. candidate,” continued Houghton, “I personally knocked on 27,000 doors over the last five years and talked with countless seniors and young families, many who told me they must choose between paying their property taxes or buying adequate amounts of food. That is outrageous and immoral.”

Houghton says he will work hard to spread his message of the need for school property tax reform.

“I can’t do this alone. For those Pennsylvanians who want to reform the way we fund our schools, I am asking them to send me a contribution and to write ‘PT Reform’ on the comment line of their check or online contribution form. When I am elected in November 2012, as it was in my time in the State House, property tax reform will be my number one goal,” he said.

To contact the campaign, please call (610) 345-0503 or email info@tomhoughton.org.

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