Property tax elimination vote on horizon in Pennsylvania Senate

Next week could be a big week for proponents of eliminating Pennsylvania’s hated school property tax.

Then again, this week was supposed to be a big week, until Senate Republicans postponed a plan to vote on legislation that would abolish the school property tax.

“We want to send the strongest bill possible to the House, and so we thought that it was worth taking the additional week to cross our Ts and dot our Is,” said state Sen. David Argall, one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 76, the property tax elimination legislation.

Argall, R-Schuylkill, expects a vote early next week. He said technical changes need to be made and waved off the notion there’s concern his legislation would not raise enough revenue to replace school property taxes. That, however, has been one of the central questions surrounding SB76.

Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office has forecast that school property tax collections will total $13.7 billion this fiscal year. That number will grow to about $15.5 billion in 2019-20, according to the IFO.

To replace property taxes, SB76 would raise the personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 4.34 percent. It would also raise the state sales and use tax from 6 percent to 7 percent and expand the number of taxable transactions.

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