Santarisiero Talks End of School Property Tax

Rep. Steve Santarsiero held a community meeting in Newtown Borough on Monday evening. The topic of the evening was the potential end of the school property tax.


Democratic Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D-31) held a community meeting with local business leaders Monday evening at the .

The focus of the meeting was House Bill 1776. The proposed bill, which is receiving bipartisan support, Santarisiero said, is slated to tackle the decades-old issue of property tax reform by eliminating the school property tax.

In the absence of a school property tax, the pending bill would raise the sales tax to 7 percent and increase the personal income tax.

Dozens of services and products that are not currently included in the current sales tax would be added. Among those items are clothes that cost over $50, bibles, all food not included in the WIC program, American flags, non-prescription medications, college textbooks, hair styling, museum and theater admission, veterinary services.

The Newtown-area representative said the proposals to replace property tax, which mostly goes toward the funding of education, just “doesn’t add up.”

“Right off the bat our school districts would take a 25 % cut in funding,” he said. “A quarter of education funding as we know it would be gone under this proposal.”

Santarisiero said the new taxes are more susceptible to economic downturn.

“In an economy where we’re still trying to dig out and have positive growth in the economy …. this type of legislation would put cold water on that process,” he said.

The representative told the small audience that taxing online retailers, working on adding a tax to natural gas drilling and closing the “Delaware gap” for corporations would help add tax revenues without increasing the sales tax or personal income tax.

A woman in the audience raised concerns because the school property tax is detectable at the end of the year; the sales tax is not. Santarisiero agreed with her concern.

Toward the end of the meeting, Santarisiero urged constituents to make their voice heard and oppose the bill.

“One way or the other, it’s important to be involved in the process and have your voice heard.”

Santarisiero also spoke to local business owners about a computer glitch that caused thousands of businesses in the state to receive the wrong unemployment compensation rate for the second quarter of the year. He said the Department of Labor and Industry is working to correct the problem.

Click here to read House Bill 1776.

What's your take on House Bill 1776? Tell us in the comment section.


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VICTORIA MILLER August 16, 2012 at 12:56 AM
PLEASE/.... bring back the sales tax.....it is around 6 percent right now. take it to 10 percent.... i would not mind that. who knows maybe next year i will lose my house becaiuse i do not have the money to pay school taxes. i am 78 years old. current income aprox 10,000 a year. my food budject is 25.00 a month the rest of the money goes on bills first. push them old people to eat cat or dog food. And that my dear people is not a joke. push them out into the street. if you do not pay the school taxes that is what happens......i read in bucks county there were 187 houses sheriff sales how many of them were the senior citizens that have been paying the school taxes for years. victoria miller
Tom Sofield August 16, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Got it. Thanks!
David Baldinger August 16, 2012 at 05:33 AM
Santarsiero is a LIAR! The schools would NOT take a 25% cut in funding under HB 1776 and, in fact, the bill would stabilize funding for schools that are suffering right now because of property tax assessment appeals. The only reason he is trashing HB 1776 is because his November opponent, Anne Chapman, supports the bill. His actions are denying true property tax elimination to struggling homeowners simply for political gain. He is despicable. HB 1776 / SB 1400 is truly the people's legislation with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. The grassroots Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations, an affiliation of 73 taxpayer advocacy groups, collaborated with Representative Jim Cox on every aspect of the crafting of the legislation beginning in November 2010 to ensure that the taxpayers and the schools are treated fairly. You can read the plain language details of the legislation and learn the truth at www.ptcc.us. Don't be deceived by this liar.
Caregiver August 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM
While school property tax is detectable at the end of year, it is also deductible.
David Baldinger August 16, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Caregiver, please try the tax calculator at the website mentioned in my previous post. It accounts for the loss of the income tax deduction as well as other factors to show you how HB 1776 will affect your total tax bill. I believe you'll be surprised.


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