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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2020 03:30 PM
From: Senator Mario M. Scavello
To: All Senate members
Subject: Further Providing for Expansion of Homestead Exclusion
In the near future, I intend to re-introduce legislation, similar to Senate Bill 805 of 2019-20, which was in response to the Constitutional Amendment question which was passed by the majority of voters within this Commonwealth on November 7, 2017.  This legislation further provides for expansion of the already established property tax relief mechanism known as the Homestead Exclusion, fixing the dollar amount at 100 percent of assessed value.

Leading up to our vote on school property tax elimination in the 2015-16 legislative session, there were concerns expressed by my fellow colleagues in the Senate about providing full school property tax relief to commercial businesses versus just residential properties. Given those concerns and ultimately the Senate’s failure to pass House Bill 683 as amended on the Senate floor (November 23, 2015), I began advocating and pushing for passage of legislation providing for a Constitutional Amendment to provide for residential school property tax elimination statewide.

This implementing legislation will provide the revenue necessary to eliminate school property taxes off of owner-occupied homes via the homestead exclusion expansion that was passed by voters in 2017. So as not to impose undue burden on the taxing jurisdictions that will be required to adopt this measure, this legislation will include an increase in the Personal Income Tax (PIT) to cover the amount needed to offset owner-occupied residential school property taxes. This is a first step toward full school property tax elimination.

Implementation of this legislation is necessary so that together we can further address the property tax structure that has afflicted us with years of escalating home foreclosures and rising tax bills across the Commonwealth. As has been said before, no tax should have the power to leave you homeless. Furthermore, no citizen should be forced to choose between paying for food, medicine, or their school property tax bill.  Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Christine Zubeck in my office at 717-787-6123 or czubeck@pasen.gov.  Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB587