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
Are budget stakeholders being told to prepare for a budget impasse?

Are budget stakeholders being told to prepare for a budget impasse?

As the July 1 start to the FY 2015-2016 is fast approaching and the possibility of a veto from Gov. Tom Wolf for a Republican-crafted budget plan looms, are lawmakers telling those that rely on state budget dollars to prepare for a long-term budget stalemate?

It depends on who one asks.

Sunday, June 28, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Property tax reform remains a bright spot among budget-related negotiations

While it may not be at the very forefront of the topics being discussed around the budget in the waning days of June, negotiations around getting an agreed-to property tax reduction bill between the House, Senate, and governor’s office remain productive.

One such negotiation session was held Friday afternoon and included advocates for Senate Bill 76—Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) and Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon)—as well as others including Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York), Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Centre), and Wolf administration proxies.

Upon leaving the meeting, negotiators remained upbeat in their belief that property tax reduction or elimination will remain a significant source of bipartisan agreement in ongoing budget negotiations.

“I think all five groups—the four caucuses and the administration—are all interested in making this part of a final package,” Rep. Hanna told reporters following the meeting. 

Friday, June 26, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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