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Property Tax Reform Effort in Pennsylvania Senate
August 29, 2013 
HARRISBURG- The chairmen of the Senate Urban Affairs & Housing Committee are working to build bipartisan support for a bill that would eliminate school property taxes.

Republican Senator Dave Argall of Schuylkill County and Senator Brewster chair the committee with oversight of issues impacting housing across the state.

“We heard plenty of individuals testify about the need for local tax reform during our hearings on the future of cities,” Senator Brewster said. “Building a bipartisan coalition of legislators proves this is not a Democrat or Republican issue; this is a taxpayer’s issue.”

Senator Brewster sees school tax elimination as a solution for homeowners who struggle to make ends meet and an opportunity to improve urban communities.

However, Senator Brewster says the major sticking point is how to replace the $8 billion   to $9 billion in revenue that would be lost if school property taxes were eliminated. He says Senate Bill 76 which calls for an increase in both the state sales tax and the state personal income tax is a good starting point for building a consensus among lawmakers.

Senator Brewster says despite the uphill battle, he remains optimistic that something can get done as a long as legislators on both sides of the aisle continue discussions.

Senators Brewster and Argall say they’ve made tremendous strides toward building legislative support from every corner of the state and now have 22 cosponsors on Senate Bill 76.

Senate Bill 76 and House Bill 76, a companion bill, were developed by the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayers Association, a statewide grassroots taxpayer organization with over 80 chapters.

Senators Brewster and Argall say they will soon release a committee report detailing findings from hearings held this summer on the future of cities, large and small. Some of those who testified at the hearings suggested school property tax reform as an option to fix budget woes that are currently facing many cities across Pennsylvania.

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