I and my wife both agree with the idea of eliminating the school property tax. We moved into York Co. three years ago after I retired. My wife could retire this year but has chosen not to, mainly because of the school tax. We had thought at first reducing the tax for seniors, would be the answer. But now, agree eliminating the tax is the way to go, to be fair to everyone envolved. That way those paying the tax would benefit and EVERYONE would help to pay if there were an increase in a sales tax. There are people in our area (I have been told, but do not have written facts) that pay in excess of $8000 per year. Our home is small, and we still are concerned about out future in the Delta/Peach Bottom area. Something needs to be done!!!
In theory, it sounds like a good idea. I do, however, thing there should be a long-term study done whether my and other school districts our going to be "getting the shaft" in the end. North Dakota may have it, but what is the quality of their schools like?
I am glad that someone is listening and Hop they Make it all come true. I have been fighting my taxes for years.It has taken years off our lives with all the stress.Nothing about this has been Fair AT ALL, in my eyes it has been nothing other than a legalized organzized act in it self created by the Gov. more so just like the Mafia. Everything you do do make your self better , they have their hands out first. I too have been holding back of doing any kind of improvement , because yes folks,you gotta pay the man first and pay every year after that.
Just think it will help boost our economy , folks will make their improvments to their home,therefore creating jobs increasing sales & manuf. Home buying would not be driven by how much they would have to pay for the property taxes.Teachers should be paid for by performance , just like everyone else and eliminate the unions.
Just let me know where chester coounty folks meet.
Please visit ptcc.us or join an open group on face book to help get HB 1776 and Senate Bill 1400 passed! If you are from Bucks County,join The Lower Bucks County Taxpayers Association. Over 60 co sponsors, but we need more! Call yor representatives office,call your state senator,send emails and be persistent but polite. This is a must for Pennsylvanias future!
Mickey made some very valid points that got me pondering my similar situation. He said he would be better off money-wise by renting as opposed to owning a home in PA. Sad but true.I am a homeowner 55 years of age and also disgusted with my school board shoving their hand deeper into my pocket every year. I drive past our high school in my 18 year old clunker and see the teacher's parking area filled with cars with nameplates like Lexus, Mercedes, and Cadillac. I watch the school board meetings on TV and watch them vote for $25 million dollar gymnasiums and trips to Europe for students. I have school board members knocking on my door when they are up for re-election and listen to their promises to hold the line on spending only to renege on their pledges once they are back in office. Everyone I know is fed up with bloated school budgets. HB1776 is a godsend. I hope it passes. But I am a realist. Politicians practice politics. I think the bill will be monkeyed with for political gamesmanship. Remember when they were selling the PA Lottery as a way to help seniors? And selling casino gambling to ease property taxes? Cynicism is hard to avoid.
Taxation to fund to schooling of youth must be levied upon all folks equally. The idea of continued taxing based upon home ownership is ridiculous. I can only wonder how we ever began this line of thought.....i.e. "Uh, tax the people who can afford a home- that way the poor folk don't gotta pay none"???
Years ago Sam Rohrer thought the proposed expanded sales tax could actually decrease the sales tax rate. Instead, the PA Government voted for more gambling to be legalized. Do you remember the days when PA had no lottery? Now the proposal is to increase the sales tax rate and expand the tax base to food and services. Expanded taxation at the point of purchase on everything sold at stores and services would produce huge amounts of money. The school boards will find a way to spend it, that is, if they ever see the glut of it. The PA Government is unworthy of our trust.
I also believe we should be moving forward with cyber classroom technology. Let's use the tax dollars to hire the best teachers in the world. We live in a digital world, if you're reading this you know it to be true. The teaching programs are available online. We could see which teachers the students respond as their grades reflect. The brick and mortar school will still be necessary for cultivating enhanced social skills, physical education, hands on training, culture, art, music etc. which ByTheWay many of these qualities lack and have been on the decline in the current environment of board reported austerity.
Thanks for reading!
I am in favor of property tax elimination. I have been in my home for 24 years and basically have been working two jobs to pay the mortgage and meet other expenses. Now; with six years left to work I am considering selling my home and becoming a renter again. I would have a larger expendable income. The only thing that is stopping me is that the housing market is in the dumps. Hopefully things will turn around by 2018, the projected year of my retirement. If House Bill 1776 fails; rest assured I will be looking for a realtor. Even if the personal income tax were to rise, as a senior I don't think that would affect me nearly as much as having to raise $2ooo.00+ without the benefit of a job.
I'm for this 1000% percent. It's about time everyone contributes to the school property tax. The burden should have never rested solely on the homeowner. With this bill enacted even the high school senior who buys a candy bar will be contributing to his education. Not to mention all those folks who rent. I for one would also be more inclined to make improvements to my home. Only reason I don't now is because I don't want to be re-assessed and intern pay more property tax. I see nothing fair about someone trying to better themselves and there living arrangements only to have to pay a corresponding tax hike. Sure there will still be county and local tax, but for the most part that's not the bigger issue as its no where near as oppressive as the school tax. Let's finally get this thing thru...
We have been trying for years to get a more fair system to pay for our children's education. Unfortunately, you will find it hard to pass this bill as long as the teacher's unions and school boards have these politicians in their pockets. The teacher's unions feel they can no longer hold us hostage if they lose the ability to have our homes confiscated in order to satisfy their demands for higher pay and benifits. Let's all work together to let out congressman know if they refuse to give us relief we will work to remove them from office.
I have read the comments posted and I must reply as a senior citizen. I am a 78 year old widow and have lived in my house since 1953 when my husband Henry and I moved in as newlyweds. Since my husband's death in 2oo6 I have struggled to pay my school property taxes and every year it went up. This year they raised it over $250 and I do not know how I will pay it. I live on Social Security and they raise it very little each year. I worry all the time about money and how I will pay my bills. I pray that Jim Cox can help us seniors who are trying to stay in their homes.
I am a homeowner in Bensalem Twp., Bucks County. My house is a modest ranch style purchased for $12o,ooo in 1991. My school tax in '91 was $1400 per year. 2012 school tax is $2907, and my local school board has already projected a MINIMUM increase of $175 for 2013 AND a MINIMUM $175 increase for 2014. I feel like there is no end to this annual gouge. I will pay $242 per month in 2012 just in school tax. Add in the $909 I pay for County/Township tax and I have my single highest (by a lot) expense as a homeowner. Property taxes increase annually by large amounts, far outpacing any increase in paycheck. At some point I will give up trying to feed the beast and sell my house. HB 1776 is the only option to deliver relief. As a wage earner, if HB1776 is enacted, the impact on me would be paying an extra one percent sales tax on my purchases. That extra outlay would CERTAINLY NOT amount to $242 per month that I would save in school property tax. I am 100% in favor of HB1776. As a sidenote, I have no children. But I have supported my local schools for 22 years. But my yearly school tax that increases by leaps and bounds is stretching my income to the point where I can't cut back on other things anymore. I am house-poor because of school tax. Any PA home or property owner who does not see the relief and peace of mind HB1776 can provide is either very wealthy or ignorant of the facts. I figure I will pay an extra $20-$30 per month in sales tax at the most if HB1776 but I will save well over $200 a month. Most of this extra money I will spend in my local economy. Multiply what I will spend as discretionary income by the millions of PA homeowners freed from the yoke of supporting local school budgets and the result will be a massive stimulus to the state economy that will dwarf anything seen for years. People will be making purchases they did not make before HB1776 and the sales tax receipts will skyrocket. Or looking at it another way, if HB1776 is enacted, if the regular person spends $500 a month on taxable purchases, he will pay an extra FIVE BUCKS! Just the thought of eliminating the runaway school budgets with their yearly hikes is refreshing.
The Reading Eagle is using the old liberal argument that only those who own property or work for a living should pay for education.
I for one am tired of those who have the most children, live off the taxpayer, and contribute little or nothing. They know how to work the system and the Eagle commends them!
If the majority of Berks County is for the elimination of property taxes, I don't understand why the Reading Eagle is against it. Many people have lost their homes because of high property taxes. Passing this bill would be a boost to our economy. Why wouldn't the Reading Eagle want people to keep their homes and boost the PA economy? Doesn't make sense to me.
Someone need to figure out how to get the people who Rent and have children in school to pay schoo tax. So Senior People with not children in school do not have to foot the whole bill and maybe enjoy there retirement
And, Tony, when people read the Intelligencer piece they should be sure to read the comments as well. The Intelligencer has always opposed property tax elimination for whatever reason (likely political - if you are aware of Bucks County politics you'll understand) and their opinions are valueless. Here's an example of one of the comments:
"The Intelligencer editorial board, in its politically correct zeal to bash the property tax elimination plan, missed a few important facts.
Yes, the sales tax is regressive, as is the income tax. But it’s hard to imagine a tax more regressive than the property tax, a tax that forces seniors to choose between food, medicine, and taxes, a tax that, if not paid, can cause you to have your home and a lifetime’s work stolen by the government. Does it get any more regressive than that?
The Intelligencer’s argument about the regressivity of the sales tax is negated by two key points. First, the sales tax is an optional tax. If you can’t afford the purchase because of the additional 1% sales tax, however unlikely that may be, you defer your purchase until you have the necessary funds."
People always want no taxation. The problem is the services that depend on taxation will suffer. If you tax away a tax that money has to still come from somewhere if you want to maintain services. How come not one of you has realized this? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. Read this: http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/the_intelligencer_news/opinion/eliminate-the-property-tax-it-s-not-so-easy/article_48de556e-5ca2-5d45-93f5-5180ac9eaca4.html
I just retired and it would be wonderful not to pay property tax.
I know this is just an informal survey, but quite obviously the majority of the folks responding are FOR it. So why can't our legislature actually represent us like they are supposed to and do what the PEOPLE want?!?
To Chris, the state already sets standards in our education system does it not? The local school boards will retain the way the money is spent, but they will finally be forced to live within a strict budget without them having the ability to raise taxes on their own anytime the want. The funding should ALL come from the state, the state money is in reality our taxes anyway just a more fair way of funding our schools. The local school officials will maintain the way the money is spent.
As long as decisions are kept as "close to home" as possible, we taxpaying Americans stand the greatest chance of ensuring our hard-earned dollars go toward OUR vision of the "American Dream".
To Mel: You make good points, but taxes become "punishing" when they are set by those who do not have full and immediate accountability--through local school board meetings, local referendums, etc--to those who pay them. If there is some other mechanism than property taxation to do that, fine! Just don't make public education funding dependent upon "rules" determined by those at the state (or worse, federal) level.
Damian: The major problem with what you say is that it's the same rationale that has grown government to the point that over 50% of earned income in America goes to fund the government that produces absolutely nothing and in fact, has over-regulated those who do to the point that American production has gone elsewhere.
Sorry, making decisions "close to home" should not involve Harrisburg, which seems inevitable under this legislation. Again, they brought us the SERS/PSERS debacle--if you don't know what that is, Google it and be aware that it will bankrupt every public school district in this state (if left unsolved) within the next 5-10 years. Has Harrisuburg proposed a solution? Of course not...you will pay for their mismanagement because THEY control the bureaucracy you will help them to further enlarge.
I have no problem with eliminating property taxes as long as public education--or anything else I consider important--is left under the control of those who operate with transparency and whom I can most directly hold accountable...SO FAR, THAT'S NOT ANYONE HOLDING A SEAT IN HARRISBURG.
It's obvious that those of you who critize this bill are part of the reason it has not passed before. You like the legislators who have mirrored your opinions have never taken the time to read or listen to a presentation of the bill and get your questions answered from the source. So you either become the source of misinformation or just become someone else who echos it .
You are assuming that the State will control education; that ALL property taxes including municipal taxes are eliminated; that no one looked into the actual finances to be sure this would work; that over spending will continue unchecked; and that Renters can't possibly benefit and will be harmed .
Near the top of the right Column is a link to a video presention. WATCH IT!. Near the top of the left hand column is a link to a Calculator USE IT!
Look for the Frequently Asked Questions READ THEM!
Go to the PTCC facebook page and post a question if yours has not been answered.
These issues you bring up are NON-ISSUES and have answered for the years.
Moodys looked at this concept when Sam Rohrer submitted it to them in 2006 and were unable to poke any holes in it. IT WORKS!
It would have eliminated the property taxes back then except for the fact it was never allowed to the floor of the house for debate, amendments and a vote. WHY? Two reasons.
The PSEA did not want it passed as indicated by a survey they passed among incumbents running for relection. They apparently were concerned about losing their ability to muscle local school boards into tax increases to pay for their increasing benfits and pay increases. Local school boards with no taxing authority would make local teachers strikes kind of ridiculous.
Reason Two- Rendell, Perzell, Deweese, Fumo, Corbett, and others received campaign donations totaling in the $1.5 million range from casinos who wanted a foot hold in PA. These leaders distributed it as among others to influence their support or "vote". The public were up in arms about casinos and Rendell and crew needed a good excuse to turn that around . What was the Excuse? PROPERTY TAX RELIEF !
They had to keep the TAX misery index high and ELIMINATNG property taxes is the last thing they needed since it would have killed their their excuse. Before the casinos ever went up they then pushed for table game expansion for the same reason.
Look at the Republican leadership. When Rohrer ran for Governor the Republican party leadership knew if he was elected school property taxes would be eliminated and their own personal agenda ended. So the GOP endorsed Corbett and never even put SAM Rohrers name in a news release; refused to allow Corbet to debate or appear in public with him; and did everything to Rohrer from the public eye. They were just as bad as Rendell!
Responding to Chris, it is much better for homeowners to pay sales tax and income tax than the horriblely punnishing real estate tax. Sure taxes will increase over time, but it's much better for all to pay than just homeowners. This bill is so logical I connot understand why anybody has the slightest doubt about it being the best way for ALL people of Pa.
It would NOT eliminate all property taxes, because you still pay property taxes to your county in many cases and that would not be eliminated at all by this law. You'd end up paying just as much, if not more depending on consumption and it is most harmful to the economy as a whole.
Income tax increase yes, but property elimination altogether, no, and what's more it's a fallacy...we've been dancing around this for a long time and basically Republicans just want you to believe they aren't raising taxes, when they'd be doing just that or forcing the issue down the road by under-funding education or something else.
Sorry but those who don't want government or only limited government go find another country to live in, we're too populated, too obligated and too much in need of what government provides to just drop it all off at the curb and walk away from it like it isn't important...it's a very selfish and absurd view and not one in touch with any shade of reality.
I am 100% behind the elimination of school property tax! Let them raise the sales tax, at least then I have a choice as to whether or not I want to purchase an item. We don't have a choice when it comes to property tax if you want to be a homeowner and live in PA.
IF YOU BELIEVE IN LIMITED GOVERNMENT, THIS IS AN UPSIDE DOWN, NON-SOLUTION and a recipe for disaster, for educational objectives as well as taxpayers.
What will this do to the LOCAL CONTROL of public education? Doesn't this allow even greater control by state lawmakers, the same group that in their infinite wisdom brought us impending bankruptcy in every local school district in Pennsylvania via the SERS/PSERS crisis? And once anything is turned over to the state, doesn't history prove they simply grow their own bureaucracy and pass even higher costs to us, the taxpayers?
GUARANTEED that those at the state level will thereby be enabled to grow your taxes in some other way, all under the guise of telling you they need the money to grow the bureaucracy to manage public education at the state level.
I am totally behind this piece of legislation. Our taxes are paid with our mortgage. This January, the monthly tax levy with our monthly payment increased over $200 a month. Insane! And in answer to Joanne...my family pays a ton in taxes. I have children who go to parochial schools. I also have children who attended public schools. I have geared the decsions toward each child's needs. The fact that my children are bussed to school...I am sure I have paid for this a thousand times over with my taxes. It my my choice to send my children there, yet I don't have a choice when my school district keeps building these "Taj Mahal" schools with all the bells and whistles!! This legislarion has been a long time coming. Let's do it.
I think it is a great idea,but we have been hearing this for the last 20 years.It seems like every time election time comes around,someone wants to eliminate the property tax.Less lip service and listen to the people and get this done for once.
This state has been trying to eliminate school property taxes for over 20 years so now is the time to do so. Other states have done it and some like N.D. are trying to accomplish it.
Let's make it happen..
I totally agree that this is a good thing. However, let's not forget this one point, as a few of you have already alluded to. The money lost from property taxes will need to come from somewhere, so now we're looking at a higher sales tax, more sales tax (on food and clothing, maybe) and higher income tax. For those of us that already pay property tax, we likely won't be spending more on our daily purchases, versus what we pay in property tax, but for those that just rent a house, their daily spending will increase, and at the end of the year, their refunds will be smaller. There are always two sides to an argument, let's just hope the renters are a quiet minority. Actually, I would love to go back to renting, to save money, but if this bill passes, I'm all for owning a house!
I enjoyed reading many of your comments. This bill means a lot to me and to many of the people I know. A few of you mentioned some really great points in favor of the bill passing. I want to add that the money saved by eliminating this tax would help the economy. Not only would homeowners and renters FINALLY be sharing this burden instead of homeowners being penalized for owning their own house, but the money homeowners save will be spent in stores or getting car repairs or home repairs. It will help our local economy! Plus, I know a couple people who have received threats on several occasions to have their home put up for sheriff sale because they can't afford their tax bills. Should people really be losing their homes because of unconstitutional taxes, when they are otherwise on time with paying their other bills?
Stephanie's comment "who paid for you" is right on. It is to everyone's advantage to have an educated public and it is the responsibility of each of us to do what we can to pay for it. It is selfish for those whose children are grown to think that their responsibility for paying taxes for education ends there. It is also our responsibility to see that this money is not wasted by attending school board meetings, etc. I can think of one way to save money, and that is to eliminate bussing of children to private and parochial schools.
This should be enough to let law makers know that the paying citizens of Pa want reform and we are tired of the increase and unfair raise in school taxes. There is a better way and this is surely a step in the right direction for reform.
Before passing a bill that makes such a drastic change, you should know EXACTLY how it will be implemented. What about people who will just go to Delaware to purchase any items they wish to avoid the sales tax? They'll certainly have more of an incentive to do that now.
Unless you have a detailed plan and KNOW that you will collect the monies needed, you shouldn't just go headlong into this without considering the consequences. That's what liberals do.
If you allow a government to control an individual's property (through taxes, regulations etc.)
Said government controls the will of the individual. Thomas Jefferson
Government should not have a lein on your home every year via a school property tax. It is nothing short of that. We currently lease our homes from the gov't. A school tax lease that never has an end date or a payoff.
The legislation is written in such a manner that we can't outrun the 7% sales tax rate.
The annual funding increases to the schools are limited to the increase in the CPI or available revenue, whichever is less - this is the cost control method built into the legislation. These increases are tied directly to economic activity and there should NEVER be a need to increase the sales tax to fund K-12 education. The days of unbridled spending will come to an end.
I was a school board member on 2 school boards and I agree with the school property tax elimination proposal introduced by a group of state lawmakers? Lets get to work! Rod Miller for State Senate.
I agree that the school property tax is antiquated and inappropriate - however, I think that Karen's comment is misguided. I always believed that public education is an investment in our youth. My 2 brothers and I made the most of our public education - we participated in music organizations, sports, clubs, AND took advanced/Honors courses in high school. As a parent, I feel I am investing in our youth - perhaps one of the current students discovers the cure for Alzheimer's, for example. One may end up being my surgeon in the future. Whether you have children in the system or not, you have the possibility of reaping the benefit of a child's education; so it's not just about "well I don't have children so I shouldn't have to pay." Who paid for you?
Im all for this, and maybe after we pass this bill we could work on the broken wellfare system ,since these people get free housing food and healthcare and dont even have to work for it, but yet they have money for deseighner clothing, cars,cell phones and more bling than ill ever own. So how about we fix them both
If we can get rid of municipal, county and school property taxes, we will regain our property rights the Founding Fathers envisioned when they drew up our Constitution. PA spends $250 million annually in administering the unconstitutional property assessment system. This amount can be saved because no new organization is needed to collect the additional income and sales taxes as called for in HB 1776/SB 1400. Different assessed values for identical properties just because they are in different school districts means that county taxes are not uniform and thus are unconstitutional. Kudos to Sen. Argall, Rep. Cox and President Dave Baldinger for all their effort to restore property rights.
I support this, but what happens when we outspend the 1% sales tax increase?
HB 1776/SB 1400 is the ONLY answer to the irreparably broken system of funding for schools that we currently have---the property tax. Property taxes are not only unconstitutional, they are antiquated and unfair and were never meant to fund our schools! The sales tax is still termed sales tax for education for that reason. The sales tax was ALWAYS meant to fund our schools, not the property tax! Legislators need to pass HB 1776/SB 1400 now before it is too late and everyone moves from PA b/c no one can afford the property taxes. Property taxes are KILLING PA jobs and in turn, the economy. This is a no brainer.....for TRUE homeownership, vote for HB 1776!
Although I respect these opinions, I think we’re missing the point. The Founders understood that property rights is the cornerstone of freedom. Taxation has been the means by which properly rights have been slowly and steadily eroded. I’m with you all! For me, this issue strikes deep into the core of freedom itself.
HB1776 gives Pennsylvanians and Pennsylvania an enormous economic boost. Pennsylvania will be the trendsetter in eliminating an immoral, unconstitutional assault on property and businesses from all over the WORLD will want to invest here. Special thanks to Jim Cox and David Baldinger for their tireless leadership on this issue.
The tax money lost by eliminating property tax will have to be made up by an increase in sales tax as suggested by the Republican leaders in PA or by an increase in other areas. Just because property tax goes away something else has to fill in or services will be cut. This is a horrible idea and has been written about a few times before by the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Bucks County Currier Times.
Using data provided to the PDE from every school district detailing their General Fund Budget in 2009-10 (latest they made available) I pulled the numbers that would apply to the taxes cut by The Property Tax Independence Act. These are the totals of the Personal earnings in each county that residents would save Each year.
Imagine the impact on small business, jobs, and the total PA economy when this money begins to get spent. Every pocket of PA will see a positive effect.
Actually 2011-12 figures would increase this substantially
County PropertyOwners Save
Allegheny $ 1,141,361,590
TOTAL PA $10,915,273,966
Property taxes are an antequated and unsustainable means by which to fund the public school system. When HB 1776 is passed into law, it will: prevent folks from losing their homes; prevent small businesses from closing; reduce the number of unemployed; allow more folks to afford the purchase a home; stop the value of a home from decreasing; initiate a budget for school districts; etc. It's a win-win piece of legislation for everyone. Go to www.PTCC.US for detailed information.
yes, I totally agree. People with school age children should pay per child, not take advantage of all who have never had a child, and now own their propertys, and pay more in taxes than their mortgages. PLus, the super intendants and school board is the reason why they are in such a financial bind, plus school buses, school buses and school buses. What happened to parents providing their transportation or letting the older 1's walk like we did!
Superintendants salary's are way too fat for their part in education, wow, really!!!YES
I am behind this 100 percent!!! I think it is a great idea, and I honestly believe it will work and will save the homes of a lot of people especially the elderly.