Snyder: Bipartisan bill would enable school districts to exclude property taxes
HARRISBURG, June 10 – A bipartisan measure that would establish a property tax reform program enabling school districts to exclude up to 100 percent of a homeowner’s school property tax bill has been introduced, state Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, announced today.
Partnering with state Reps. Marcia Hahn, R-Northampton, and Rosemary M. Brown, R-Monroe/Pike, Snyder said the bill would provide for the elimination of owner-occupied residential school property taxes via the homestead and farmland exclusion, also known as the property tax relief program. The measure would increase the state’s personal income tax by 1.8%. That increase – from 3.07% to 4.87% – represents the amount needed to offset the property tax exemption, Snyder added.
“I hear from seniors and homeowners regularly about this property tax burden and how unfair and costly it is to them,” Snyder said. “We realize that school districts need adequate funding to operate, but not on the backs of taxpayers, including first-time home buyers and family farms. The personal income tax is considered one of the more stable taxes levied in our state, and this will ensure districts will have the necessary funding for their schools.
“We’ve also seen how property taxes can fluctuate, due to economic downturns over the past few years, and we believe this measure is a viable solution for both taxpayers and school districts statewide and could also lead to an increase in new home construction.”
In 2017, an amendment to the state’s constitution was approved that would provide for the expansion of the property tax relief program. This amendment increased the allowable homestead and farmstead exclusion to 100% of its assessed value. This change – if fully funded – would allow school districts to eliminate the collection of property taxes.
House Bill 1200 is modeled after H.B. 2329, which was introduced during the 2017-18 legislative session. It is currently under consideration in the state House Finance Committee.