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House/Senate Bill 76 “The Property Tax Independence Act”

By Marc Connuck, Managing Partner and Pennsylvania Analyst

If you were to walk down the street and ask 10 people whether or not they liked paying taxes, chances are at least 9 of those people would say no. That, quite frankly, would not be surprising to most people. Most people do not like paying taxes, they do not like to give a few thousand dollars a year to the government who will spend it on some massively inflated program. School property taxes, on the other hand, are a much different thing. In many areas, school boards are given the power to unilaterally tax the property of the people in a specific area regardless of age, sex, and income. In turn, the revenue goes towards funding the school district.

There is no easy answer. Taxes, no matter what a person believes, are not going to disappear over night. There will be no one time elimination of taxes and that is it. The best that people could hope for is the tailoring of such taxes to affect the individual as little as possible. In other words, lower taxes would be better, but the kind of tax must also be looked at as well. Under Pennsylvania Senate/House Bill 76 the Property Tax Independence Act, the property tax would almost completely be eliminated and replaced with slightly higher income and sales taxes. Such a shift, in my mind, is justifiable. By eliminating the property tax, Senate/House Bill 76 saves the individual thousands of dollars every year and increases the value of their homes. A person would only lose money through Senate/House Bill 76 The Property Tax Independence Act if they increased their spending by an obscene amount. Eliminating such a burdensome tax, the property tax, and replacing it with two less burdensome taxes only helps the individual person. As an added benefit, it also will help businesses as a business would be more likely to open in an area which does not have a property tax then an area which does have one. Such businesses can only benefit an individual as it creates jobs and financial stability in an area.

Property security is one of three inalienable rights. People should not be forced to give their property to the government. Ultimately, property should be protected. The Property Tax Independence Act protects an individual’s property. Under the current law, nobody really owns a home, as they must pay a fee in order to live in their house. If they do not pay that fee, they are kicked out of their home. Property is just leased from the local school districts. The Property Tax Independence Act would change the current laws and allow people to completely own their property.

Action Alert: this Bill needs a committee hearing!

Please contact the below Assemblymen, remove the ability of a school district to impose a burdensome property tax on the citizens of Pennsylvania.

House Finance Committee Leadership:

Chair Hon. Kerry A. Benninghoff
140 West High Street
Bellefonte, PA 16823
(814) 355-1300
Fax: (814) 355-3523

Hon. Kerry A. Benninghoff
77 North Main Street
PO Box 592
Reedsville, PA 17084
(717) 667-2319
Fax: (717) 667-6025

Hon. Kerry A. Benninghoff
152 Main Capitol Building
PO Box 202171
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2171
(717) 783-1918
Fax: (717) 260-6528

Hon. Phyllis Mundy
400 Third Avenue
Park Office Bldg Suite 113
Kingston, PA 18704
(570) 283-9622
(570) 655-3375
Fax: (570) 283-9626

Hon. Phyllis Mundy
36 East Wing
PO Box 202120
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2120
(717) 783-1614
Fax: (717) 772-9868

Hon. John A. Lawrence
1 Commerce Boulevard
Second Floor Suite 200
West Grove, PA 19390
(610) 869-1602
Fax: (610) 869-1605

Hon. John A. Lawrence
B14 Main Capitol Building
PO Box 202013
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2013
(717) 260-6117

Hon. Madeleine Dean
1175 Old York Road
Abington, PA 19001
(215) 517-6800
Fax: (215) 517-6828

Hon. Madeleine Dean
102-B East Wing
PO Box 202153
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2153
(717) 783-7619
Fax: (717) 780-4754

Hon. Eli Evankovich
5648 William Penn Highway
Export, PA 15632
(724) 387-1281
Fax: (724) 387-1295

Hon. Eli Evankovich
2400 Leechburg Road
New Kensington, PA 15068
(724) 335-2790
Fax: (724) 335-2649

Hon. Eli Evankovich
5 East Wing
PO Box 202054
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2054
(717) 260-6129

Senate Finance Committee Leadership:

Chair Senator Mike Brubaker
Senate Box 203036
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3036
Room: 168 Main Capitol
(717) 787-4420
FAX: (717) 783-3156

Minority Chair Senator John Blake
Senate Box 203022
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3022
Room: 17 East Wing
(717) 787-6481
FAX: (717) 783-5198

Vice-Chair Senator Scott Hutchinson
Senate Box 203021
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3021
Room: 460 Main Capitol Building
(717) 787-9684
FAX: (717) 787-6088

Ex-officio member, Senator Joseph Scarnati III
Senate Box 203025
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3025
Room: 292 Capitol Building
(717) 787-7084
FAX: (717) 772-2755

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