Property Tax Reform Effort in Pennsylvania
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.
Senator Dave Argall of Schuylkill County and Senator Brewster chair the
committee with oversight of issues impacting housing across the state.
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.”
Brewster sees school tax elimination as a solution for homeowners who struggle
to make ends meet and an opportunity to improve urban communities.
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.
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
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.
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.