State House committee begins report on eliminating property taxes
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HARRISBURG -- The special House committee studying the problem of school property taxes has finished its public hearings and today began work on a report to the Legislature, which is expected to be lengthy, detailed and controversial.
Rep. Tom Quigley, R-Montgomery, chairman of the panel, said a meeting will be held in mid-November to discuss options for eliminating school property taxes, with a final report issued by Nov. 30. No action would come until the new Legislature meets, starting in January.
Options include increasing state sales taxes, eliminating some longstanding tax exemptions, including food and clothing, or increasing the state personal income tax rate of 3.07 percent to perhaps 4.5 percent. Lesser options include lowering construction costs on publicly funded projects or having the state pay school districts for some high-cost items, such as pension costs and special education costs.
School property taxes are the major source for school districts to pay their expenses, but many people, especially senior citizens on fixed incomes, have complained about the rising cost of school taxes and the Legislature is looking for alternative ways to pay for schools.
First Published October 16, 2012 12:40 pm