(Sept 24) Alternative Property Tax supporters vs Property Tax Elimination supporters

BY ROBERT SWIFT (HARRISBURG BUREAU CHIEF) Published: September 25, 2013
 

Bills would cut property taxes in different ways

HARRISBURG – Sponsors of a bill to eliminate school property taxes by tapping new state tax revenue say they won’t be deterred by an effort of House Republican leaders to move an alternative property tax reduction bill.

They predicted their bill would prevail in a House floor vote.

Sen. David Argall, R-29, Tamaqua, and Rep. Jim Cox, R-129, Sinking Spring, addressed a Capitol rally Tuesday in support of the Property Tax Independence Act. Their companion bills would hike the state income tax rate and hike the state sales tax rate and expand the list of goods and services subject to the sales tax with the goal of completely eliminating school property taxes.

The rally drew a couple hundred supporters from Schuylkill and Berks counties, Monroe and Pike counties and other parts of the state. Speakers emphasized the need to protect senior citizens from losing mortgage-paid homes due to school property tax hikes.

The rally came one day after House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-28, Pittsburgh, voiced his support for the local option bill sponsored by Rep. Seth Grove, R-196, York. The measure, which cleared the House Finance Committee on Monday, would give school districts the choice of shifting partially or completely away from relying on property taxes to a mix of an additional earned income tax and a tax on business gross receipts.

The property tax independence bill has far more cosponsors than the local option bill and will pass even if offered as a rival amendment on the House floor, said Mr. Argall.

Mr. Turzai and others who favor the local option scrambled to put a bill together in the face of constituent pressure, said Mr. Cox. Scheduling the committee vote before the rally was no coincidence, he said.

Find the full article, here: Property tax elimination supporters push back Robert Swift, The Times-Tribune, 9/25/13

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