Proposals for revamping Pa. property tax system fail to gain traction

    A statewide approach to property tax changes was defeated in the Pennsylvania House last week, but the Senate is still working on a plan to get rid of the unpopular levy.

    Last year, a proposal to replace property taxes with higher sales and income taxes got a thumbs-down from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office.

    The IFO analyzed a second, reworked plan and found, again, it wouldn’t come up with enough money for schools.

    But state Sen. Mike Folmer said the proposal can be revised again — and his Senate colleagues can be persuaded that reform is within reach.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    “I believe we have to look at the IFO, we may have to do some tweaks,” said Folmer, R-Lebanon. “But I believe the philosophy, the underneath philosophy of this bill works.

    The House sent the Senate a bill taking a different approach — not to eliminate school property taxes across the board, but to give school districts the option of reducing or swapping them for other levies.In the process, the House roundly defeated the approach Folmer supports.

    Senate GOP leadership hasn’t expressed interest in any specific proposal.

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal