As school districts across Pennsylvania consider raising property taxes to offset cutbacks in funding from the state government, a Pennsylvania lawmaker thinks that the time has come to eliminate property taxes as a way of financing public schools and to raise personal income and sales taxes to make up the difference.
The PA House Finance Committee took up House Bill 1776 on Monday. Sponsored by Rep. Jim Cox, a Republican from Berks County, the measure would make the statewide sales tax at least 7 percent and raise the personal income tax rate from 3.07 percent to 4 percent. In Allegheny County, the sales tax would rise to 8 percent.
In addition, many goods and services currently exempt from state sales tax would be taxable under this new bill, which aims to raise $10 billion to replace the revenue that would be lost by the elimination of school property taxes.
Cox said that property taxes on residential and commercial buildings are a major burden for many owners, especially senior citizens on fixed incomes, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported.
The House finance committee has scheduled another hearing on the bill for June 4, but it's not clear if it will come up for action in the House before the break for summer recess on June 30.
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