Last November, Pennsylvanians voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to allow property taxes to be eliminated. Now, there are multiple bills at the State Capitol that aim to get that done.
At this time last year, bills to eliminate school property taxes would be considered unconstitutional. Now, though, both the House and the Senate are considering measures to make it happen.
Senator Mario Scavello says, “The people voted for it in November. We’re now putting it in writing and we’re going to go ahead and do it for them.”
Scavello recently introduced ‘Senate Bill 1137’. It eliminates owner-occupied residential school property taxes through the Homestead Exemption. It will allow 100 percent of a property to be exempt. He says school property taxes are the single biggest problems he’s heard from his constituents. “Seniors are regularly choosing between paying for food, medication, or their property taxes. Their school property taxes.”
The bill would also raise the state’s Personal Income Tax to 5.05%, a 1.98% increase. Scavello says, “Let’s say you make $100,000. It’s going to cost you $1,980. That’s the extra tax you’re going to pay on $100,000 of income. And your school taxes go away.” That money will then go back into the school system rather than the general fund.
Senator Bob Mensch says, “We finally have a bill that will meet the demands of the school districts as well as the taxpayer.”
The bill is similar to a bill introduced in the House this week, though that bill has a slightly lower Personal Income Tax increase of 1.72%.
Governor Wolf’s Press Secretary, JJ Abbott, says, “Governor Wolf has long supported property tax relief and reform if done in a responsible, fair way. We cannot tax food or clothing, and we have to ensure students and school districts aren’t negatively impacted”.
Senator Scavello’s bill does have bipartisan support. It is currently in the committee.
–Matt Heckel, Jet 24 Action News