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Lawmaker's plan to get rid of school property taxes would raise sales tax

Written by Megan Lello and Radio Pennsylvania | Mar 16, 2013 7:39 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A measure to help eliminate school property taxes could lead Pennsylvanians to shell out extra money elsewhere.

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The so-called "Property Tax Independence Act" calls for raising the state sales tax by a penny in order to do away with the levies.

The state House bill's sponsor, Republican Representative Jim Cox of Berks County, says it would also widen the sales tax base to apply to more goods and services. "For example, when I go to the store to buy one of my personal favorites, M&M's, currently not taxable under Pennsylvania law, instead of paying $1 for that bag of M&M's, I'd pay $1.07. Now, as much as that pains me, I know that my school property taxes would be eliminated and so, like others, I'm willing to do that."

Cox says the proposal would also increase the personal income tax from 3.07 to 4.34 percent.

Similar measures have failed in the past due to concerns over how much revenue would actually be generated.

Midstate Senator Dave Argall of Berks and Schuylkill counties has introduced a similar bill in the Senate.

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Comments: 2

  • Julieann Wozniak img 2013-03-17 17:46

    Great idea! That extra penny removes fixed and low income people from the threat of homelessness when they can't pay. Property taxes are unreasonably high in my rural community, since the local coal baron is tax exempt, and the property of the coal-fired power plant in Greene County is grossly under-assessed. Everyone has to pay sales tax.

  • timj img 2013-03-18 14:53

    Great! another business exemption.

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