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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 18, 2021 03:11 PM
From: Representative Kurt A. Masser
To: All House members
Subject: Public notice prior to increase of school property taxes (Former HB 1269)
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation to encourage school districts to become more transparent when they perceive the need to generate funds by increasing property taxes.

As many of you well know, property taxes continue to be an issue for many residents across the Commonwealth. In the event a school district elects to increase the rate of property tax assessed upon its residents, the question to do so is typically posed to the public by means of a public referendum. However, under a provision in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2006, exceptions exist to this requirement which allow school districts to increase property tax rates without public input.

My bill will require a school district to notice and host two public meetings prior to increasing the school district’s property tax rate without holding a public referendum. Specifically, a notice of the intent of the school district to increase the property tax must be published in a local newspaper, as well as on the school district’s website, at least one week prior to holding two public hearings.

The public hearings are required to be held Monday thru Friday during an academic week: one must be held between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.; the other between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

I fully understand that, in some instances, school districts may need to increase property taxes to generate funds for the benefit of the students. But, local taxpayers deserve to be informed about any potential increase in their school property tax and should have the right to have their thoughts and comments heard.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1291