– State Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks/Lancaster) was pleased today in Harrisburg to hear Pennsylvania’s governor talk about the important issue of property taxes during his first budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly.
“It’s nice to see the governor acknowledge the problem of property taxes,” said Cox, who introduced a proposal (House Bill 76) to completely replace school district property taxes during the last two-year legislative session.
“My goal is to replace school district property taxes,” Cox said. “The governor’s proposal falls short of that goal, but I’m encouraged just to know he’s looking to address the overall issue.”
The governor proposed increasing the state Personal Income Tax to raise $2.41 billion by increasing the rate from 3.07 percent to 3.70 percent. His plan calls for using only $2.14 billion of that to reduce, but not replace, school district property taxes.
The governor also called for a 10 percent increase in the state sales tax – which would raise the rate from 6 percent to 6.6 percent – to bring in an additional $1.55 billion in tax revenues. The governor would not dedicate any of the new sales tax revenues to reduce property taxes.
“I have supported a dollar-for-dollar approach to replace property taxes,” Cox said. “Sadly, the governor’s proposal would not use the new sales tax revenues to replace existing property taxes. That’s something I hope he is willing to consider changing as the process moves forward.”
The governor’s property tax proposal was part of an overall state budget plan that would spend $33.8 billion, representing an increase of 16 percent more than the current budget.
“The governor proposed a detailed budget that is full of tax increases and new spending,” Cox said. “The details of his plan will come out in the weeks ahead as the House and Senate hold hearings about the plan. The takeaway for today is that property taxes are on the governor’s radar screen and I am pleased to hear that.”
Representative Jim Cox
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Daniel Massing