HARRISBURG—Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) and Representative Perry Stambaugh (Perry/Cumberland) introduced a proposal this week that would allow Pennsylvania residents to vote directly on the elimination of school property taxes through an amendment to the state constitution.
Previous tax relief measures such as school property tax referendums and casino gaming have fallen short of expectations and have done little to ease the burden of Pennsylvania homeowners—especially our seniors living on fixed-incomes.
In 2017, Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment expanding the homestead exclusion to 100 percent of a home’s assessed value, yet four more years have passed with no meaningful reforms.
“It’s past time to allow the people of Pennsylvania to directly decide the future of school property tax elimination,” said DiSanto. “Our proposal outright prohibits school districts from levying property taxes and ensures the powerful and entrenched special interests opposing reform would no longer be able to block needed action.”
“Constituents in our districts and across the entire Commonwealth are suffering greatly under the weight of constantly increasing school property taxes,” said Stambaugh. “The status-quo is unacceptable, and voter approval of this constitutional amendment would force the General Assembly to address this issue once and for all.”
DiSanto and Stambaugh’s constitutional amendments Senate Bill 424 and House Bill 927 would task the General Assembly with replacing property tax revenues with a combination of state and local sales and income taxes. The proposal would also ensure local school districts receive the same amount of revenue as the year prior to enactment so school needs are met. The bills must pass the Senate and House in two consecutive sessions to be placed in the ballot.