Schools without Property Taxes?
HARRISBURG- A bill making its way through the Pennsylvania Senate would base school
funding dollars not on property taxes but on state sales and income taxes. Opponents
say it doesn't add up.
Bill 76 is aimed at eliminating property taxes. In the process, however, some
are concerned it would place school funding in Pennsylvania on shaky ground.
at a time when maybe the economy isn't doing as well, the state isn't going to
have as much money to then give to the school districts," said John
Neurohr, a spokesman for the group Keystone Progress. "It's really going
to place the disproportionate burden for filling those gaps on the school
districts - and that's just not fair."
proposal would raise the state personal income tax by more than 1.25 percent
and the state sales tax by 1 percent, but not for items on the WIC food list.
Backers of the bill call it a critical component to long-overdue property tax
reform in the state, but Neurohr said it would have a disproportionate effect
on low- and middle-income taxpayers.
said the measure also threatens to put local control of school districts in
not allowing the elected school boards in our districts across the state, if SB
76 becomes law, to do what they need to do to make sure that they are fully
funding schools," he said.
on SB 76 is expected in the Senate soon. The bill's text is online at