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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 dollars 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. 

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David May 22, 2012 at 02:13 PM
So, out of the first 5 votes in this poll, 3 people want to pay more in taxes (via income and sales taxes) so that the businesses in their communities will no longer have to support their local schools? I think that this is not being fully explained! The businesses in your community will no longer have to pay property taxes!! They do not pay sales taxes and they do not pay personal income taxes, so they get a major gift and YOU will be paying higher total taxes to fund your schools. Come on people think through these schemes before blindly jumping on some feel good stunt to "eliminate property taxes".
Keith L May 22, 2012 at 08:53 PM
David, have you done the calculations? For my circumstances, I will end up paying less taxes. The small increase in sales and income tax will be less than my current property tax. Plus, businesses will not be getting a major gift. If a businesses profit goes up because they are no longer paying property tax, then the business owners income also increases, therefore paying a higher income tax value. Property taxes are an outdated revenue method in this day and age and result in massive differences in education quality throughout the state. With the state controlling the distribution of funds, money can be directed to where it is needed the most which will result in a fairer and more consistent education level for all students.
Jim Henzler May 25, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Jim Anyone in Pa who does not agree with this proposal is a complete fool. Keith is exactly correct in stating David does not understand math. The average taxes paid on a $200,000 home in Pa is about $6 to $8 thousand per year and if you make a $100,000 per year a one percent increase in Income tax comes to $1000 per year and this is just the beginning. The bill would have all renters, who pay zero now, also paying for school taxes and this bill would bring new companies to Pa. which would also bring more jobs to Pa. The growth in building new homes would be incredible because presently people cannot afford to build new homes because they cannot afford to pay the yearly taxes on them. As far as the 1% increase in sales tax, this is something for which you can control your spending. And let's not forget about the fact that you will then actually OWN your home when it's paid off and no one can take it from you, as the Constitution states. So David, you are the one that should sit back and Think.
laurie July 01, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Why do Pa. schools need so much money? Somehow other states have public school systems and they get by just fine with a 6% sales tax and state income tax. The working individual does not see half of their city tax funding them either. Do away with the school property tax and businesses will come back to Pa. but if you increase the sales tax and make it difficult for businesses to sell their product at a competetive price why should they want to come here? taxes need cut -govt and schools need to be more efficient with their spending.
meh1005@gmail.com July 04, 2012 at 07:29 AM
I was told if the Three Rivers Casino was built it would help Homeowners lower our School Taxes..... but now our School Taxes are going up???!!! If anyone could answer this, I would greatly appreciate it.

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