Give up property taxes and be taxed more individually?

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Advocates today delivered more than 30,000 signed petitions to the offices of both the governor and the general assembly today, urging them to eliminate Pennsylvania’s school property taxes.

“No tax should ever have the power to leave anyone homeless.”

But, that’s exactly what Ron Boltz, President of the Pennsylvania Liberty Alliance, says Pennsylvania’s school property taxes do.  “Many of our seniors had to give up the homes they’ve long paid off, because they can no longer keep up with the ever-increasing property tax.”

“The only way to fix it is to eliminate it and start all over again.”

Senator David Argall is the main sponsor of Senate Bill 76 to get rid of those taxes.  The senator calls them outdated.

Jim Rodkey of the PA Property Rights Association says, “When it comes to the school property tax, we the people no longer consent.” Which is why volunteers gathered more than 30,000 signatures and delivered them to the office of the governor on Tuesday, asking for him to get rid of those taxes.  But, the billions in revenue they generate would have to be made up elsewhere. 

Argall says the fix is “more sales tax, more income tax.”

The bill would raise the personal income tax from 3-5% and sales tax from 6-7%.  It would also impose a sales tax on currently exempt items like some food and clothes.  

Democratic Representative Peter Schweyer says he’s all for tax relief for seniors, but does not think school property tax elimination is the answer.  “It’s being sold as property tax relief for your everyday citizen, and it is nothing more than a massive corporate tax giveaway in Pennsylvania.”

Senate Bill 76 didn’t make it out of committee this past session.  They plan to reintroduce it next year.  

–Matt Heckel, Jet 24 Action News

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