May. 13, 2015

HARRISBURG – Rep. James R. Santora (R-Delaware) today applauded the state House’s passage of legislation that would significantly reduce residential and commercial school property taxes for residents across the Commonwealth. The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration.

“The legislation that passed the House today represents months of collaboration among a working group of House members, of which I was a part, to craft a property tax reduction plan that would achieve meaningful school property tax reductions for homeowners across the Commonwealth,” Santora said. “I’m happy that my colleagues recognized the need to pass this important measure, which would help to ensure that seniors and working families no longer have to fear losing their homes because they cannot afford a tax.

“With the passage of this legislation, we are now one step closer to shifting a devastating tax burden off the backs of property owners,” he added.

The property tax reform language was included as an amendment to House Bill 504. It 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 plan includes a dollar-for-dollar tax shift away from property taxes, meaning that every new dollar of the nearly $5 billion raised under the plan would go back to taxpayers for property tax reductions. The PIT funds generated from this shift would reduce school district millage rates immediately. The SUT funds generated from the tax shift would go directly to homeowners through homestead and farmstead exclusions.

The legislation includes cost controls on future millage rate increases to ensure that school property tax reductions stay in place. Specifically, as PIT funds naturally grow as the economy grows, the additional PIT dollars received by school districts would be used to further drive down millage rates.

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.

Representative James R. Santora
163rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jonathan Anzur
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