Davis: Bid for significant property tax relief and budget sanity deserved support

Defeated plan addressed property taxes, education funding and structural deficit

HARRISBURG, Oct. 7 – State Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, said she voted today for a compromise budget plan that would have helped seniors and families with children by increasing education funding and providing significant property tax relief to those who need it most.

Davis said the Democratic amendment also would have addressed the state’s burgeoning structural budget deficit.

“The plan considered today would have put the state on sound fiscal footing, provided significant property tax relief and would begin to reverse devastating cuts to public education,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, the amendment did not pass, and seniors will continue to face higher and higher school taxes as Republican leadership continues to play games instead of dealing with budget realities.”

Davis said that her mission remains eliminating school property taxes, but she was encouraged by the Democratic plan to quadruple the number of senior citizens that would have property taxes eliminated.

“Under the plan, more than 6,000 senior households in Bucks County would no longer have their homes jeopardized by property taxes,” Davis said. “We need broad-based tax relief, but this plan attempted to move toward an education funding system based on ability to pay, not home value.”

Davis said the budget amendment, defeated on a 73-127 vote, was a true effort by Gov. Tom Wolf and Democrats in the legislature to compromise and deliver a budget that Pennsylvanians deserve.

“Unfortunately, the Republican majority prefers protecting special interests, the powerful and the wealthy,” said Davis, noting that the plan would have finally allowed Pennsylvania residents to benefit from Marcellus Shale resources in the same way that residents in every other natural gas-producing state already do.

“A sensible severance tax would provide sustainable revenues necessary to fund our schools, help our service providers and balance our budget,” Davis said.

While saying she was disappointed in the outcome of Wednesday’s vote, Davis said the effort provides a clearer roadmap toward a state budget.

“There’s no easy solution, but this plan was an honest effort to reach across the aisle to work with my Republican colleagues and deliver a responsible budget for Pennsylvania,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, the effort was rejected in the interest of partisan self-interest.

“I pledge to continue working hard for my constituents to move the process forward.”