|In the near future I will be re-introducing House Bill 708 of 2015, the Optional Sales Tax for School Property Tax Relief and County and Municipal Assistance Act. This legislation will provide substantial school property tax relief and give our municipalities an additional revenue tool to improve core services that are beneficial to our communities.
The proposed legislation will provide counties the option of levying a 1% sales tax and distributes the revenue as follows:
- 60% would be directed to school districts for a dollar for dollar reduction in school property taxes, allocated based on average membership of a school district.
- 40% would be directed to municipalities to be used towards pension obligations and core services which include, but are not limited to police, fire, public works and administrative services. Funds would be allocated based on a weighted calculation of a municipality’s population and tax-exempt properties.
- Funding that is not claimed by municipalities would be directed back to the county to be used for core services—ensuring all sales tax generated in a county would stay in the county.
As municipalities throughout the Commonwealth are teetering on bankruptcy, school districts are struggling to adequately educate our children in the face of drastic cuts. With many families are feeling the pinch of ever-increasing property taxes, it is imperative that we give local governments the tools to reduce taxes and improve public services in their communities. Beings that the sales tax is the preferred method of property tax reduction and is widely supported by the public, this legislation an appealing option to provide some financial relief to municipalities.
Previous co-sponsors include YOUNGBLOOD, COHEN, PASHINSKI, THOMAS, SCHLOSSBERG, McNEILL, DAVIDSON and McCARTER