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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 24, 2015 04:01 PM
From: Representative Stan Saylor
To: All House members
Subject: Property Tax Relief Plan
For decades, homeowners throughout Pennsylvania have pressed state lawmakers to enact a real, comprehensive solution to rising school district property taxes. Achieving this goal, while elusive, continues to be a fundamental priority for elected officials, and it is one not bound by geography or political party.

Unfortunately, the issue has been pinned down by seemingly endless debates and, in turn, taxpayers have been forced to accept the status quo. As a member of this chamber who has long supported property tax reform – including efforts to reach total elimination – I understand the difficulty in achieving consensus on this issue. However, with property taxes serving as a lead issue of concern in many communities, the time has come to recognize that the status quo is no longer acceptable.

To prove to taxpayers we can make progress on this issue, I will soon be introducing legislation providing approximately $4.9 billion in annual local tax relief, which would result in approximately a 50% reduction in school property taxes for homesteads across the state in the first full year of implementation. By shifting the state’s Personal Income Tax rate from 3.07 to 3.70 percent and the Sales and Use Tax rate from 6 to 7 percent, we can provide taxpayers with the most comprehensive property tax relief effort in the state’s history.

This plan would ensure every new dollar generated through the new PIT and SUT rates would be used to reduce school property taxes – complete with safeguards to ensure these reductions stay in place. Not one dollar of the new revenue would be kept in the state’s coffers for additional budgetary spending. Funds collected through these new rates would be distributed to school districts in two ways: new PIT revenue would be used to reduce local millage rates, while new revenue generated from the SUT would be directed specifically to homesteads and farmsteads.

While I disagree with his approach on this issue, the fact that Governor Wolf agrees property tax reform is a priority is an important point in this discussion. There is clearly a broad desire to provide real property tax relief for Pennsylvanians, and this proposal can help achieve this goal. I would request your support of this property tax relief legislation.

Introduced as HB860