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Fed Up: Man Outraged By High Property Taxes Pays $7,143 In $1 Bills

pennsylvania man paid property taxes in one dollar bills

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A Pennsylvania man was so irritated about the high cost of local school taxes that he decided to pay the $7,143 he owed entirely in $1 bills.

Rob Fernandes, a father of three homeschooled children, paid his school taxes in quite an unusual way, and became a YouTube sensation in the process. Fernandes was frustrated not only by the high cost, but also by the fact he is paying for something he and his family do not even use.

“It would be the equivalent if McDonald’s were to force vegetarians to pay for their cheeseburgers,” Fernandes told a local newspaper.

Fortunately for Forks Township tax collector Anne Bennett-Morse, Rob Fernandes did not choose to pay the huge bill in pennies. The homeowner got a great deal on a short sale property, but is understandably irked by the nearly $10,000 in property taxes he must pay to the local government annually. Most people, he said, don’t even realize the amount of their property taxes because it is rolled in with their mortgage payment.

“I’m hoping people see this video and do the same thing: stop paying in their escrow and mortgage and start paying taxes the way I did,” Fernandes said.

Ruthlessly Cut College Costs To Help You Get A Legitimate Degree For Pennies On The Dollar!

He says on the video, “I wanted to create a visual; they don’t get to actually … see exactly how much taxes is being stolen from them. And I am using the word stolen because I’m not here voluntarily paying this money to anybody. I’m here because I fear for the threat somebody will come and take my house away from me if I don’t pay this.”

Rob Fernandes recorded his Pennsylvania school tax video and posted it on YouTube because he believes the local government was essentially stealing his money. Bennett-Morse stated during the exchange that she was “not going to count every dollar” and did not want to issue a payment receipt until a bank fingered through the $1 bills to make sure every one was there. Fernandes offered to escort her to the bank for the official counting – and said he expected a receipt after all the dollar flipping was done.

“We homeschool our kids, so we don’t ever use the public school system, yet I’m being forced to pay all this money into a public school system that I don’t use, don’t want, don’t need,” he said. “And I don’t think that’s really either fair, just, or even ethical. … I’m a big proponent of education. Education can be provided more efficiently in a free market.”

The Forks Township area bank refused to allow the video camera inside, but Fernandes did ultimately get a “paid in full” receipt for his annual school tax payment. After exiting the bank, the homeschooling proponent stated that his $1 bill exercise was about morality and ethics, not politics. He also stated his hopes that everyone watching the now viral YouTube video would start talking about the school tax issues and a real national conversation would begin on the matter.

“I hear people who have kids in the school system complaining all the time. And they get nowhere,” Fernandes said. “Because there’s no incentive for them to provide better service.”

Forks Supervisors Chairman Erik Chuss told the media that if local residents are concerned about their school taxes, they should attend public meetings, tell their elected officials, or run for office.

Of course, Rob Fernandes was sending his elected officials a message. He just opted to use a little bit of added flare.

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  1. Unacceptable. He moved to this high property tax area, and knew what he was getting into. Just because his children aren’t using the education system, doesn’t make him exempt from paying taxes. If he doesn’t like it, there are plenty of other lower cost towns to live in with lower property taxes.

  2. High real estate based school taxes are one thing; paying any kind of real estate based school taxes is another. Most people pay real estate taxes that go toward schools including childless people and the elderly. If he did not want to pay school taxes he should have done his research before buying.

  3. According to US DOE per primary/secondary student costs in 2009/2010 adjusted dollars:
    1961/62 school year = $2835
    1970/71 school year = $4596
    1980/81 school year = $5773
    2008/09 school year = $10694
    The list did not show any time-frame of decreasing costs.
    An Ohio paper posted in 2009 “Across the state last year, school districts spent anywhere from $7,000 to more than $20,000 per pupil, averaging about $9,000 to fund a child’s education.”
    Don’t know about you, but I cannot see that the educational experience has improved by a factor of 2, 3 or 4 since I graduated HS. Obviously Indoctrination is an expensive process.

    • How did they arrive at those numbers?
      Did they just take the amount spent by the school systems in any given year and divide that by the number of students?
      In that case your argument that the educational experience hasn’t improved in line with the cost is skewed and based on misleading information.
      My household costs have more than doubled since the eighties, and that’s just taking into account food and power, and my lifestyle has actually taken a dip in some areas (I used to eat t-bone steak about once a week, I now eat it once a year – if that).
      The school systems have to deal with these and other costs also just to keep things on an even keel.

      • The numbers you complain about above comes from the GAO. They have that inflation thing you complain about taken in to account. Schools are getting six times the money and are doing half the job. Any company would go bankrupt with this result. PS. The former head of the Department of Homeland Security says there is a 100% chance of the power going out all over the nation soon! She said this in her retirement speech. Are you prepared?

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