Sen. David G. Argall (R-29) on Tuesday thanked the Senate Finance Committee for its public hearing featuring testimony from the state's Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) regarding legislation he has sponsored to eliminate school property taxes across Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 76 would eliminate school property taxes through an increase in the state's Personal Income Tax and an increase and expansion of the state's Sales and Use Tax. Argall said that over 80 grassroots taxpayer groups came to him to introduce this legislation. The Independent Fiscal Office provided a 60-page financial analysis of Senate Bill 76.
Argall believes the committee's positive discussion could lead to meaningful school tax reform that constituents have been pushing for years.
"We heard thoughtful and meaningful dialogue on how the state can tackle this enormous issue," Argall said. "A majority of the people I'm privileged to represent told me this is their number one issue so this is my number one issue. My goal is to make sure this message is delivered to my colleagues so we can take decisive action in the near future to eliminate this burden on homeowners."
Argall is encouraged by the discussion during today's hearing and said he hopes it spurs further discussion to resolve the issue.
"Today, the IFO verified the crux of the problem: Property taxes continue to outpace the rate of inflation, or the taxpayer's checkbook," Argall said. "I would like to applaud the committee's chairmen, Senators Brubaker and Blake; they had the option to either avoid this complicated and difficult issue or move full steam ahead. I'm pleased they are proceeding with the latter."