Ask Evan: Property Taxes in Pennsylvania

This week's 'Ask Evan' segment question from John H from Myerstown.  He asks, "When are we Pennsylvanians going to get a break with our property taxes?  There's been discussion about this for years, but no action.  Is there anything on the horizon?"

We just aired a short story on our newscasts about this very subject on Tuesday.  The school property tax has been a primary source for school funding since the 1830's. However, some lawmakers in Harrisburg say it's archaic and can't be fixed and needs to be replaced with new education funding.

So, the most recent effort to completely do away with property taxes with what's called the Property Tax Independence Act.  A number of grassroots taxpayer advocacy groups are pushing passage of senate bill 76 and house bill 76.  This would eliminate property tax and replace it with an increase of other taxes. Specifically, the state`s sales and use tax would be broadened to include more goods and services and would be increased from 6% to 7%.  The state`s personal income tax would be increased from the current 3.07% to 4.95%.  Supporters say the new revenue sources would replace dollar-for-dollar the revenues lost by the school property tax elimination.  Legislation to kill the school property tax narrowly went down to defeat two years ago when democratic Lt. Gov. Mike Stack broke a 24-24 vote in the state senate by voting against the plan. Senate bill 76 is now before the state senate finance committee.

If you have questions you'd like to ask, send me an email at askevan@fox.com  Put Ask Evan in the subject line.  Whatever the topic I will do my best to track down answers you are looking for.