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10/23/2017 07:05 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20170&cosponId=24600
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: September 22, 2017 01:21 PM
From: Senator Mario M. Scavello
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation Further Providing for Expansion of Homestead Exclusion
 
In the near future, I intend to introduce a two-bill legislative package as a prelude to the Constitutional Amendment question which will be on the ballot November 7, 2017, further providing for expansion of the already established property tax relief mechanism known as the Homestead Exclusion, fixing the dollar amount at 100 percent of assessed value.

Leading up to our vote on property tax elimination in the 2015-16 legislative session, there were concerns expressed by my fellow colleagues in the Senate about providing full property tax relief to commercial businesses as opposed to just residential properties. Given those concerns and ultimately the Senate’s failure to pass House Bill 683 as amended on the Senate floor (November 23, 2015), I began advocating and pushing for passage of legislation providing for a Constitutional Amendment to provide for residential school property tax elimination statewide.

Currently, the Pennsylvania Constitution allows local taxing authorities to exclude from taxation up to 50% of the median assessed value of homestead property within the taxing district. While this is the current mechanism to provide residential property tax relief, it is inadequate because it caps the amount of relief that can be provided.

Consequently, in advance of the November ballot question, this implementing legislation will improve upon the already established property tax relief mechanism. Passage of this legislation, providing for the elimination of owner-occupied residential school property taxes via the homestead exclusion and fixing the dollar amount at 100 percent of the assessed value, provides meaningful results for our citizens statewide. So as not to impose undue burden on the taxing jurisdictions that will be required to adopt this measure, this legislation will include an increase in the Personal Income Tax (PIT) to cover the amount needed to offset owner-occupied residential school property taxes.

Adoption of the amendment to the Constitution, and implementation of this legislation is necessary so that together we can further address the property tax structure that has afflicted us with years of escalating home foreclosures and rising tax bills across the Commonwealth. As has been said before, no tax should leave you homeless. Furthermore, no citizen should be forced to choose between paying for food, medicine, or their school property tax bill. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Christine Zubeck in my office at 717-787-6123 or czubeck@pasen.gov. Thank you for your consideration.


Document #1

Description: Further providing for expansion of the already established property tax relief mechanism known as the Homestead Exclusion, fixing the dollar amount at 100 percent of assessed value.
 

Document #2

Description: Increase in the Personal Income Tax (PIT) to cover the amount needed to offset owner-occupied residential school property taxes.