Pa. lawmakers report threats over property tax legislation, Grove says

Seth Grove

Seth Grove

Two members of the state House security force attended a town hall meeting for state Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, earlier this month, in response to reported threats over property tax legislation, Grove said Thursday.

“There’s some ire out there and some individuals out there who want it their way or the highway,” Grove said. “…. At first it was just insults.”

But Grove said online posts escalated and anonymous threatening mail was sent to state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, a Republican who represents parts of Centre and Mifflin counties.

Grove said one mailer included an article about a shooting at a Monroe County municipal meeting earlier this year, and it said Benninghoff needed to move House Bill 76 or “this is going to happen to you.”

Another mailer was a postcard that included the address for where Benninghoff stays in Harrisburg, and it mentioned all four of Benninghoff’s daughters, Grove said.

“It’s just wrong on so many levels to even talk about kids in that regard,” he said.

Grove said he didn’t receive any threatening mailers. He said lawmakers decided to report the threats in September and state Capitol Police are still investigating.

Grove’s property tax reform legislation, House Bill 1189, passed out of the state House Finance Committee on Sept. 23. Benninghoff is chairman of that committee.

The legislation passed the state House with a 149-46 vote on Oct. 2. Grove’s legislation would allow individual school districts to reduce or eliminate their property taxes and replace the funds dollar-for-dollar with an elimination tax.

Some property tax reform groups have instead supported House Bill 76, which would eliminate school property taxes statewide. That legislation has not passed out of the House.

Grove said there were no problems at the Oct. 10 town hall meeting in Dover that members of the House security force attended.

About Ed Mahon

County government and politics reporter at York Daily Record/Sunday News.
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