May. 13, 2015

HARRISBURG – The state House has taken a significant step in the movement toward eliminating school property taxes for southcentral Pennsylvania residents with today’s passage of House Bill 504. For members of the Adams-York County House Republican delegation, the key was Tuesday’s vote to amend into the bill language from House Bill 860, authored by House Education Committee Chairman Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion).

House Bill 504, which passed by a 105-86 margin, may now be taken up by the state Senate. Saylor, along with fellow Reps. Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam), Seth Grove (R-Dover), Kate Klunk (R-Hanover), Dan Moul (R-Gettysburg), Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-Jacobus) and Will Tallman (R-Abbottstown), issued this statement following Wednesday’s vote on House Bill 504:

“Property tax relief is not a statewide issue. As evidenced by today’s bipartisan vote on the bill, it is also not a Republican nor a Democrat issue. Speakers from both sides of the aisle and differing regions of the Commonwealth often claimed House Bill 504 to be far from perfect. In the same breath, they demanded its passage because it was far better than the status quo.

“The House has now sent to the state Senate legislation which provides significant property tax relief ($4.9 billion), and moves us in the direction of total elimination of school property taxes. House Bill 504 shifts us away from property taxes to less burdensome forms of revenue in order to fund Pennsylvania’s public schools. It also provides relief for the renter whose monthly bill is based on what his or her landlord pays.

“This measure gives school districts a more reliable source of funding, which will make it easier for them to budget for the coming school year. By eliminating the infamous middle man – Harrisburg – in sending tax revenue directly to the districts, the bill also guarantees every new dollar generated through new Personal Income Tax and sales taxes would be used to reduce school property taxes – complete with safeguards to ensure these reductions stay in place.

“At present, the votes do not exist to completely eliminate school property taxes. Doing nothing threatens to do more harm than good. What we accomplished today is a step forward, more so than any other legislation that is on the table...because it has the votes to pass.

“Pennsylvania is now 26 Senate votes and one governor’s signature away from doing what has never been done before. Along with much-needed pension relief and an improved funding formula, we hope this is not the last historic day in the 2015-16 session of the General Assembly.”

Here is a list of Adams and York County school districts, along with the corresponding percentage of relief * that would be realized by property owners under House Bill 504:

• Bermudian Springs – 61 percent
• Central York – 38 percent
• Conewago Valley – 47 percent
• Dallastown Area – 37 percent
• Dover Area – 47 percent
• Eastern York – 46 percent
• Fairfield Area – 52 percent
• Gettysburg Area – 41 percent
• Hanover – 48 percent
• Littlestown – 55 percent
• Northeastern York – 45 percent
• Northern York – 42 percent
• Red Lion Area – 41 percent
• Southeastern – 40 percent
• Southwestern – 39 percent
• Southern York County – 39 percent
• Spring Grove Area – 38 percent
• West Shore – 39 percent
• West York Area – 40 percent
• Upper Adams – 66 percent
• York City – 68 percent
• York Suburban – 37 percent

*The percentage of relief is estimated by combining the following statistics:

• Percentage of relief from millage reductions
• Homestead and farmstead allocations
• Property Tax/Rent Rebate expansion
• Gaming allocations

Adams-York County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little