As school districts across the state consider raising taxes 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.
The House Finance Committee took up House Bill 1776 Monday. 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 dollars to replace the revenue that would be lost by the elimination of school property taxes.
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.
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