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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 7, 2013 03:04 PM
From: Senator Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: Co Sponsorship: Elimination of Property Assessment and Property Taxes for Counties of the Second Class
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation that would eliminate property taxes in Allegheny County by authorizing Allegheny County Council to eliminate property reassessments within the county. Under my legislation, the county council would have the discretion to pass an ordinance eliminating the county assessment system. If it does so, neither the county nor any municipality or school district within the county would be permitted to impose real estate taxes. If county council refuses to act, citizens could propose such an ordinance through public referendum.

Once the county council, or the voters, elects to eliminate its property tax assessment system, the county and each municipality and school district within the county would be empowered to impose other taxes to replace the property tax revenues. These other taxes options would include an earned income and net profits tax, a personal income tax, sales and use tax, real property fee (per square foot), and any other tax authorized under the Local Tax Enabling Act.

This legislation is a response to the current situation homeowners are facing throughout Allegheny County. A court ordered reassessment has revealed that the current process is subjective, confusing, and amounts to a very costly mandate. Property assessments often result in extreme disparities in home values with some properties received favorable assessments, while others are overvalued. I believe allowing Allegheny County Council the option to work with the municipalities and schools districts to determine whether to eliminate the assessment system and property taxes within the county is necessary to begin to seriously address the property tax issue within the county.

This legislation was SB 1462 during the 2011-12 session. Previous co-sponsors included Senators Costa, Solobay, Alloway, Tartaglione, Ward and Ferlo.

Introduced as SB418