Tax-exempt groups should be assessed

There have been recent news stories pertaining to the state wanting to control pension costs for cities.

There are more communities than not that have underfunded pensions.

State Senator John H. Eichelberger Jr.. R-Blair, stated he has a common sense plan for dealing with this problem.

Also, two other York County politicians want to stop police officers and firefighters from working overtime, so they cannot increase their pension in the last years of their careers.

These plans are aimed at changing collective bargaining rights for police officers and firefighters.

Many people do not realize that municipal police and firefighters do not receive social security benefits during their careers. However, they are required to pay into Medicare. And, to add insult to injury, if prior to or after earning a pension as a police officer or firefighter and they work for at least 10 years to earn their social security benefits, they are only entitled to half.

Is this fair, to choose certain professions and penalize them because they have a municipal pension?

Here’s the answer on how to alleviate the problem: The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has 95,336 tax exempt organizations, with $395 billion in total assets, according to

The City of Altoona has $639 million in tax exempt properties. Nonprofit should not automatically mean tax exempt.

Just because a nursing home name has a religious affiliation or medical building has the name of a hospital, they are still for-profit facilities and should be taxed.

Patrick Lape