Pennsylvania lawmakers continue to tussle over how to cut local property taxes -- and how to pay for it (if at all). The principal plan making its way through the state House of Representatives would cut school property taxes for all Pennsylvania homeowners, and increase the state income tax and sales tax rate to pay for it. But Republican leaders have proposed a variety of alternatives, including a more aggressive plan that would completely repeal school property taxes and expand the state sales tax base. The "repeal everything" bill was rejected earlier this week.
But debate nonetheless ground to a halt later in the week after Republicans sponsored a successful amendment to the principal House plan. As amended, the House plan now focuses entirely on eliminating school property taxes for seniors earning less than $40,000 -- but does not include any tax hikes to pay for it, and does nothing for non-elderly homeowners.
Meanwhile, as the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center reminds us, truly targeted tax reform alternatives are receiving a hearing as well, with an Earned Income Tax Credit receiving more attention from state lawmakers this year.