State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Senate panel moves bill to make raising property taxes harder

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Mar 31, 2017 4:17 AM

The bill on school board votes has been reported out of the Senate Education Committee, along with a handful of others. (Photo from WITF Archives)

(Harrisburg) -- School property taxes are a perennial issue in Harrisburg.

And while attempts to curtail or get rid of them entirely routinely fizzle out, a bill making modest changes is moving through the Senate.

The bill, supported by Montgomery County Republican John Rafferty, would make it harder for school boards to raise property taxes.

It would require a supermajority--or two-thirds vote--in order to pass anything. The current law only requires a simple majority.

Senate Education Chair John Eichelberger said that'll ensure any tax hike is backed by "compelling need."

The School Boards Association wasn't as enthusiastic.

While the organization didn't condemn the bill, it said in a letter that it would only support it if the general assembly extended that same supermajority requirement to its own tax votes.

Among other bills the committee passed this week was one that would crack down on school employees heavily involved in their unions, by banning teachers from staying on their school's payroll if they're working for the union full-time.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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