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House GOP to Unveil Plan for Trimming School Property Taxes

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The Republican-controlled state House will press ahead in the coming weeks with a plan to cut local school property taxes across the commonwealth.

GOP Majority Leader Dave Reed said members want to see average local property taxes reduced by 40 to 60 percent. The plan in the works would raise sales and personal income taxes, but Reed said would not cost taxpayers more money.

"We will not be using these dollars for additional spending at the state level," said Reed during a Wednesday conference call with reporters. "They will be used to reduce local school property taxes."

Gov. Tom Wolf's budget proposal includes property tax relief that he says would target poor areas with high property tax burdens. The plan has taken a lot of hits from Republicans since its unveiling in early March.

Some criticized the fact that it was merely reducing, and not eliminating, property taxes. Reed said the plan in the works now won't necessarily eliminate property taxes.

Some took issue with Wolf's proposal to get rid of many of the sales tax exemptions enjoyed by things such as dry cleaning, funeral services, and candy. House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin said the proposal under discussion would not broaden the sales tax to include new items, though he stressed that the plan is still subject to change.