Patch Poll: PA House Panel Considers Bill To Eliminate School Property Taxes

Revenue would be made up by higher income and sales taxes.

As school districts across the state to offset cutbacks in funding from Harrisburg, a state lawmaker thinks the time has come to eliminate property taxes as a way of financing public schools, and raise the personal income and sales taxes to make up the difference. 

. Sponsored by Rep. Jim Cox, R-Berks, the measure would hike the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent statewide and raise the personal income tax rate from 3.07 percent to 4 percent. In Allegheny County, the sales tax would rise to 8 percent. 

In addition, many goods and services currently exempt from the sales tax would be taxable under the bill, which aims to raise $10 billion to replace the revenue that would be lost by the elimination of school property taxes. 

Cox said property taxes on residential and commercial buildings are a major burden for many owners, especially senior citizens on fixed incomes, the Post Gazette reported.

The finance committee has scheduled another hearing on the bill June 4, but it’s not clear if it will come up for action in the House before the break for summer recess on June 30. 

What do you think? What are the pros and cons? Please let us know by voting in our poll and leaving comments.


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