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Argall calls for tax relief

Published December 10. 2019 01:04PM

A group of state lawmakers led by Sen. Dave Argall of Schuylkill County recently released its top five property tax relief options, urging legislative action in 2020.

Argall chaired the “school property tax work group,” which has held numerous meetings on the issue since August.

“The time for legislative action is now; especially since there is a lawsuit pending against the commonwealth regarding school funding and school property taxes, speaking to the severity of this issue and concern,” Argall wrote in a letter to floor leaders. “As leaders in this commonwealth, let us work together on this serious issue that has plagued the state for over twenty years.”

The plans include:

• An $8.62 billion reduction through a 1% personal income tax increase, a 1% sales tax increase for homestead/farmstead exclusion, requiring school districts, if they don’t already, to levy a minimum local earned income tax of 1%, expanding the property tax/rent rebate program, and expanding the Senior Safety Net Deferred Property Tax Program.

• An $6.437 billion reduction through a personal income tax increase of 1.55%, from the current 3.07% to approximately 4.62%. If the sales and use tax is included, the personal income tax rate would then be decreased accordingly. Other funding sources could also be considered.

• A rebate for homesteads capped at $2,340. There are 3.4 million properties in the state that qualify as homestead properties. The statewide average school property tax paid by eligible homeowners is $2,340. This plan would provide a rebate to homestead properties that would be capped at $2,340. A personal income tax increase of 1.25% would fund this change. If the sales and use tax is included, the personal income tax rate would then be decreased accordingly. Other funding sources could also be considered. Approximately 2.09 million homestead properties would see their school property taxes eliminated.

• A rebate for homesteads capped at $5,000. A personal income tax increase of 1.65% would fund this change. If the sales and use tax is included, the personal income tax rate would then be decreased accordingly. Other funding sources could also be considered. Approximately 3.11 million homestead properties would see their school property taxes eliminated.

• An $8.5 billion elimination in homestead school property taxes. Every single homestead property in Pennsylvania would see their school property taxes eliminated. The personal income tax would rise from the current 3.07% to 4.82%. According to Appropriations Committee staff, the baseline personal income tax rate would only need to rise to 4.65%, but 4.82% was decided because the rate was deemed sufficient to weather an economic recession. There would also be a 1% sales tax increase.

The fifth option is the only one that would result in a complete elimination of property taxes, which Argall said he favors. Four other plans, he added, were pitched in an effort to compromise with fellow lawmakers.

“The goal was to seek a consensus that could garner the necessary 102 votes in the House of Representatives, 26 votes in the Senate, and the signature of our Governor,” he said.

The lawmakers in the work group requested “that each of these plans is reviewed by all of the members of each caucus as soon as possible and that the caucus whips conduct a thorough count so that we can determine which plan(s) can move forward in the legislative process in 2020.”

Comments
Must be an election year. Argall has had his name in the newspaper and made the same statements for nearly 25 years yet once the election is over, well forget about any property tax relief, its party time on the taxpayers dime for another term.
Clearly all BS and just mute talking points to stroke his election base! Typical politician
The politician known as "milk toast" only cares about his salary, position, prestige and protecting his unscrupulous friends. Don't believe anything this individual says! In fact, run the other way when his shadow crosses your path. The party of Republicans have been apologizing for this fraud for decades.
In Monroe County Scavella office too....Last year.....Oh yes, it looks good....going to the Finance Committee this fall..........ya da ya da ya da.
The tax issue has been going on for years.
These are not "1.55%" increases....they are 1 and a half percentage point increases....a bit difference. The accurate way to report this is that the bill calls for a more than 50% increase in income taxes.

The problem of school funding has nothing to do with where the revenue is coming from, its expenses. Get expenses under control
As with everything, you can't lower or cut one thing without raising another. You do this to property taxes, and you end up raising another tax elsewhere. The Republican mantra is always "spread the money around" to that it increases the tax base, IE- more people are paying something but everyone can pay less.

This is what happened with the gas tax that many people mistakenly attribute to Democrats and/or Tom Wolf, who wasn't even elected until two years after it was passed. Property tax relief means just that. Not relief for that but increasing something elsewhere. Unfortunately, Democrats in particular, will never seriously take up this issue, especially those in big cities, unless the school funding formula can be changed to give them the most money. Property taxes are predictable, and that is why they're favored.

Here's a thought: stop re-electing these "do-nothing" people and get people who will tackle the issue. Its great they get these "work groups" together, but they never go anywhere. But as long as it looks like they're doing something, voters will kneel down for their representative/senator. That's politics- the perception of care and action.
Dave,
We want what you told us we would get... ELIMINATION!
Reduction = the action or fact of making a specified thing smaller or less in amount, degree, or size.
Elimination = the complete removal or destruction of something.
Eliminate through reduction in spending and shifting to another source.

I don't buy it Dave
Say it isn't true. Property Taxes will never come down. The liberal idiots will make sure of that.

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