Bill calls for elimination of property taxes collected by Pa. school districts – By Megan Tomasic (Trib Live) / June 10 2019
Property taxes collected by school districts across the state could be a thing of the past if a new bill passes.
Introduced by Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Greene/Fayette/Washington), along with state Reps. Marcia Hahn (R-Northampton) and Rosemary M. Brown (R-Monroe/Pike), the bill would enable districts to exclude up to 100% of a homeowner’s school property tax bill, piggybacking off the homestead and farmland exclusion that was amended in November 2017.
The 2017 amendment to the state’s constitution was approved to provide for an expansion to the property tax relief program. It also increased the allowable homestead and farmstead exclusion to 100% of its assessed value. Conversations have been taking place over how to craft legislation for the amendment, according to a news release.
To ensure districts still receive necessary funds, the bill calls for increasing the personal income tax by 1.8% to cover the loss in real estate taxes. This means the personal income tax would increase from 3.07% to 4.87%.
“I hear from seniors and homeowners regularly about this property tax burden and how unfair and costly it is to them,” Snyder said in the release. “We realize that school districts need adequate funding to operate, but not on the backs of taxpayers, including first-time home buyers and family farms. The personal income tax is considered one of the more stable taxes levied in our state, and this will ensure districts will have the necessary funding for their schools.
“We’ve also seen how property taxes can fluctuate, due to economic downturns over the past few years, and we believe this measure is a viable solution for both taxpayers and school districts statewide and could also lead to an increase in new home construction,” she said.