Republican William "B.J." Sieg has announced his candidacy for the 92nd House District, which will be left vacant at the end of the year as state Rep. Scott Perry, R-Dillsburg, runs for the U.S. Congress.
Sieg, 28, of Newberry Township, recently resigned his position as special assistant to the secretary of the state Department of Transportation to run for the seat.
Sieg said he's starting a business and plans to work in contracting and consulting until the election. He said he's a "family man" with a young son and "another on the way" who spent most of his life living in rural Pennsylvania.
His rural upbringing instilled a sense of limited government, he said, and the sense that "government is supposed to do what the people tell it and not the other way around."
Sieg said the economy is the biggest issue facing the state, and he intends to do whatever's necessary to create "good, family-sustaining jobs."
He could start with reducing taxes on individuals and businesses, which "when added to property taxes, are not exactly a recipe for economic success," he said.
He said he'd like to abolish or at least drastically reduce property taxes, which are unfair to seniors, and pay for it with the increased tax revenue spurred by the economic growth and jobs that resulted.
The issues: Sieg said he would also reduce spending in Harrisburg, but he'd need to
review the budget closely before deciding which areas to trim.
Education spending would likely sustain some cuts, he said.
"For eight years, we threw money hand over fist at the school system, and I don't know that we fixed the issues out there," he said. "We can't afford to continue the funding level the last administration put out there."
He wouldn't cut haphazardly, he said, but would look for ways to reduce costs while introducing more competition to public schools.
Sieg said he's still considering the implications of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale region. He thinks environmental effects should be studied, and he would consider an extraction fee or other revenue-generating ideas if he considered them fair, he said.
"I have trouble taxing something that doesn't necessarily belong to the state," he said. "Is it fair to say gas is on someone else's land and we can tax it just because it's there?"
-- Reach Christina Kauffman at 505-5436, ckauffman@yorkdis patch.com, or follow her on Twitter at @YDYork County.