Standing in the Capitol Media Center, state Sen. David G. Argall (R-29) and John Yudichak (D-14) on Tuesday formally introduced Senate Bill 76, The Property Tax Independence Act.
In his remarks about the bill, Argall noted that the property tax has plagued Pennsylvania since the 1830s.
"Back then, in addition to revenues from a local property tax, we used to pay our teachers partly in vegetables as they taught in one-room schoolhouses," Argall said. "We no longer pay our teachers in vegetables, our children no longer learn in one-room schoolhouses, but we still pay for public education through an outmoded property tax. That's just crazy."
The proposal would eliminate school property taxes by increasing the state's Sales and Use Tax from 6 to 7 percent, and increasing the Personal Income Tax from 3.07 to 4.34 percent. The proposal would also close certain loopholes and take advantage of existing gaming revenues already dedicated to property tax relief.
Sen. Yudichak mentioned how passage of the proposal would eliminate the burden many Pennsylvanians endure.
"We need to find a way to do away with our antiquated system of property taxes and this legislation begins that conversation," Yudichak added. "Property taxes are a huge burden for Pennsylvania homeowners and senior citizens and I applaud my colleagues for bringing these proposals forward."
The proposal has grassroots support throughout the state, with the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations firmly behind the bill. David Baldinger, spokesperson for the PCTA, thanked legislators for supporting the legislative proposal.
"Due to the consideration and cooperation of the prime sponsors of House Bill 76 and Senate Bill 76, we have been privileged to be a full partner in the legislative process. We thank those who have given us the opportunity to help draft such vital legislation," Baldinger said.
Argall and Yudichak are joining efforts with state Senators Mike Folmer (R-48) and Judy Schwank (D-11) to introduce the plan in the Senate. State Representative Jim Cox (R-129) will introduce House Bill 76 in the other chamber. Locally, state Representatives Doyle Heffley (R-122), Neal Goodman (D-123), Jerry Knowles (R-124) and Mike Tobash (R-125) have all pledged their support for the legislation.