– Today, Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) introduced new legislation to eliminate school property taxes and establish a more modern and reliable way to fund education in the Commonwealth.
Joined at a Capitol news conference by members of the Citizens’ Property Tax Advisory Group, Ryan, who has worked on the property tax issue for several years, said the complexity of the current school funding model is so intertwined and convoluted that prior efforts to change it were not possible.
Ryan insists the current rate of increase in school property taxes is unsustainable, is pricing seniors out of their homes and hurting many others. He said he has spent the past four years listening to taxpayers, addressing concerns and working out a fair and balanced formula for the total elimination of property taxes in the Commonwealth.
“House Bill 13 would eliminate property taxes and reduce rent. It would make it easier to buy, improve and remain in your own home, and would attract businesses and jobs to the Commonwealth, strengthening our families and our state’s economy,” said Ryan. “Schools would have reliable funding and their savings caps would be lifted, enabling them to more effectively manage their finances.
“In this legislation, I worked to resolve the issues that were raised in prior bills to eliminate property taxes. It is clear that any solution will require sacrifice on the part of all Pennsylvanians. House Bill 13 aims to eliminate school property taxes while ensuring that no single segment of our population shoulders the entire burden.”
Ryan’s bill proposes to replace property tax revenue with sales and income taxes. House Bill 13 would increase the Personal Income Tax by 1.85% with those funds staying local to the school district. The bill also would increase the state Sales and Use Tax by 2% with those funds going to the county to allocate to the school districts within that county. It also would impose a 2% sales tax on clothing and food, except WIC/SNAP purchases, which would remain tax exempt.
The bill would increase the Personal Income Tax to 4.92% on a new category of income - retirement income. However, Social Security income, military pensions and member contributions to retirement plans would not be taxed. Additionally for existing workers, contributions to a pension plan would now be tax deductible on your state income tax return.
“House Bill 13 would end Pennsylvania’s archaic reliance on property taxes that unfairly burden our growing population of seniors and stifle our economy,” said Ryan. “It would enable us to transition to fair and reliable funding sources for our schools, which will provide more effective management at the local level. If we do nothing, Pennsylvania residents will continue to lose their homes and the precarious nature of school funding will continue.”
The following is a link to today’s news conference. Please watch video below.
Representative Frank Ryan
101st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Donna Pinkham
RepFrankRyan.com / Facebook.com/RepFrankRyan