State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Call for compromise on property tax relief in budget impasse

Written by Mary Wilson | Jul 29, 2015 3:56 AM
PABudget_0630 AP.jpg

(Harrisburg) --  In a state budget stalemate with few compromises, a left-leaning think tank says focusing on property tax relief could prompt some bipartisan agreement.

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf made his pitch to offer property tax relief central to his proposed budget.

In May, the state House passed a GOP-crafted proposal with bipartisan backing.

It included the kind of broad-based tax increases Republican leaders now say they can't support.  

The liberal Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center compared the two plans.

Stephen Herzenberg, a co-author of the report, says they're similar enough to suggest common ground is within reach.

"This should be an area ripe for bipartisan compromise. Republican champions for property tax relief do have a once in a generation opportunity to achieve what has been their top priority in many cases for a decade or more," he says. "This is the area where if we're going to manage to escape the partisan kabuki play, this is an area that might begin that."

There has been little mention of compromise on the major items that divide the governor's office and the Republican legislative leaders.

Wolf said recently he thinks GOP lawmakers have been "testing" him.

Republicans have said the governor's proposal is so large they're waiting for him to offer a more modest plan.

          

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