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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 26, 2018 12:28 PM
From: Representative P. Michael Sturla
To: All House members
Subject: Optional Sales Tax for School Property Tax Relief and Municipal Assistance
As municipalities throughout Pennsylvania are teetering on bankruptcy, school districts are struggling to adequately educate our children in the face of drastic cuts. With so many families feeling the pinch of ever-increasing property taxes, it is imperative that we give local governments the tools to reduce taxes while improving public services in their communities.

I will be reintroducing legislation (House Bill 1059 of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session) that would provide substantial school property tax relief and give our municipalities an additional revenue tool to improve core services that are beneficial to our communities. As the sales tax is the preferred method of property tax reduction and is widely supported by the public, this proposal would provide counties the option of levying a 1% sales tax and distribute the revenue as follows:

1. 70% 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.

2. 30% 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.

3. 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.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this common-sense legislation that gives back to our schools and communities.

Introduced as HB1391