HARRISBURG – Rep. Craig Staats (R-Bucks) released the following statement after the state House today passed legislation (House Bill 504
) that aims to provide school property tax relief to residential and commercial property owners.
“Since being elected to the state House, one of the top concerns I have heard from residents is increasing school property taxes,” Staats said. “While I do not agree with every component of this plan, I voted in favor of it because it would achieve real, dollar-for-dollar school property tax relief for residents across the Commonwealth, including Bucks County.
“Specifically, residents of the 145th District’s three school districts – Palisades, Pennridge and Quakertown Community – would realize about 40 percent reductions in their school property tax bills under this plan.
“The legislation differs markedly from Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan, which would increase property taxes for residents in 404 of the Commonwealth’s 500 school districts. Moreover, while House Bill 504 represents a dollar-for-dollar shift away from school property taxes, Wolf’s plan would raise taxes on hardworking Pennsylvanians by a total of $8 billion. That’s simply unacceptable.
“I feel that it was important for the House to advance meaningful property tax reform today in order to seriously begin the process of providing residents with the school property tax relief that they desperately need and deserve,” he added.
House Bill 504 represents a shift away from school property taxes by changing the state’s Personal Income Tax (PIT) to 3.7 percent and the state’s Sales and Use Tax (SUT) to 7 percent, without expanding it to cover items that are currently sales tax exempt. The PIT funds generated from this shift would decrease school district millage rates immediately. The SUT funds generated from the tax shift would go directly to homeowners through homestead and farmstead exclusions.
Unlike the governor’s plan, the legislation includes cost controls on future millage rate increases to ensure that school property tax reductions stay in place.
Every dollar of the $5 billion generated from these tax shifts would fund school property tax reductions. The proposal would also provide an additional $125 million for the Property Tax and Rent Rebate program, which benefits low to middle-income senior citizens and residents with disabilities across the state.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
?Representative Craig Staats
145th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jonathan Anzur