Pennsylvania lawmakers revive bill to eliminate school property taxes

Western PA News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A bill in the Pennsylvania Senate would make school property taxes a thing of the past.

The Senate Majority Policy Committee met Wednesday to discuss Senate Bill 76, which would eliminate those taxes.

​​”Property taxes are an unfair and archaic relic from the 1830s that were set in place during a time when children were taught in one-room schoolhouses and teachers like my grandfather Argall, back in the 1920s, were actually paid partially in vegetables,” said Sen. David Argall, the bill’s primary sponsor. “We don’t do that anymore, but we’re still stuck with this same tax that, if you do not pay it, can make you homeless.”

​​The bill would make up the revenue by increasing the personal income tax from 3.07% to 4.95%. It would also increase the sales tax from 6% to 7%.

​​”Pennsylvania has struggled for decades to repeal and replace this regressive and unfair tax, which causes great angst and hardship for many of my constituents,” said Sen. John DiSanto, a co-sponsor. “Legislative action is required to keep property taxpayers from being viewed as a blank check.”

​​Others at Wednesday’s meeting expressed concerns about the bill, like how an increase in the sales tax would affect lower-wage earners and what the consequences of completely eliminating the school property tax would be.

​​Senate Bill 76 is currently in the Senate Finance Committee.​

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