Senators seek to bolster Office of Inspector General

Senators seek to bolster Office of Inspector General

Senators David Argall (R-Schuylkill) and Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) are hoping to decrease welfare fraud by hiring additional staff for the Office of Inspector General to investigate claims about possible welfare misconduct.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016/Author: Kara Barmoy
Categories: News and Views

School district property tax elimination measure fails in Senate

Hopes of passing what sponsors believed would be a measure to put a stake in the heart of Pennsylvania’s school district property taxes were dashed Monday night, as their proposal failed along the narrow margin of 24 to 24, with Lt. Gov. Mike Stack voting in the negative to break the tie.

The proposal was voted on as an amendment to House Bill 683.

Prime sponsor of the measure, Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) said the school district property tax system in effect today is the “same, stupid, unfair” tax that has existed since 1834.

“Again and again we have tried, but we have not succeeded [in eliminating the tax],” he said. “Today is the day and it’s long overdue.”

Monday, November 23, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Property tax elimination vote put off amid technical concerns

A tentatively scheduled vote on a plan that would completely eliminate school district property taxes in Pennsylvania was nixed Tuesday amid technical concerns that sponsors of the plan have agreed to address in advance of a vote by the full Senate now tentatively scheduled for next week.

"Today was supposed to be a full Senate vote to consider the elimination of school property taxes – a proposal drafted by over 80 grassroots taxpayer advocacy groups from across the state," read a released statement from the proposal's sponsors. "Some minor technical concerns regarding the bill’s implementation have been raised. We agreed to make tweaks to the proposal and have it considered next week by the full Senate.”

When asked about the proposal, Senate Appropriations Committee Majority Chairman Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) said there is an interest in moving the proposal next week so long as the issues are taken care of.

“We’re taking a look at it, making sure it’s in a form that members are comfortable with,” he said. “It’s a significant bill, a lot of moving parts. There’s been questions raised regarding some of the provisions of it to make sure it works properly, so there’s been a conversation amongst our front office and the sponsors of the bill to make sure those concerns are addressed and the plan is to move it later."

Tuesday, November 17, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Property tax elimination vote coming despite budget framework?

The sponsor of a Senate bill to completely eliminate Pennsylvania’s school property tax says he will be offering an amendment next week that encompasses his proposal despite the governor and legislative leaders working on another proposal.

Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) told The PLS Reporter Thursday that he plans to bring up the complete elimination plan next Tuesday as an amendment to a bill being considered on the Senate floor.

“I believe we have the votes,” he said. “We have 24 cosponsors, [and] I have other members who have told me they will vote for this even though they are not cosponsors, but there’s only one way to find out, so we’re going to read the roll call on Tuesday.”

He said despite the governor and legislative leaders from all four caucuses unveiling a budget framework earlier this week that focuses on reducing or eliminating property taxes for homeowners and farmers by raising the sales tax 1.25 percent across the commonwealth, the vote Tuesday could not be more real.

“I believe that when this clears the Senate for the first time in history, that changes everything,” he said. “That certainly changes the dynamic in the House.”

Thursday, November 12, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Property tax elimination closer than ever?

Sponsors of a proposal to eliminate school property taxes in Pennsylvania are feeling more optimistic than ever before about its chances for passage.

“We are closer than we have ever been before in this long, painful process, but we still have a long way to go,” Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) told The PLS Reporter. “We believe we have the votes that we need for the first time in the Senate.”

The proposal he's sponsoring, Senate Bill 76, plans to eliminate Pennsylvania’s school property taxes by raising the personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 4.34 percent and increasing the sales tax from six to seven percent while also expanding the base.

Those tax increases would also rise with inflation based upon the statewide weekly wage.

Sen. Argall anticipates the proposal will raise $12 billion, enough money to completely eliminate the school property tax.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views