Scavello: Constitutional Amendment Targets Residential School Property Taxes via Homestead Exclusion

Harrisburg — Senator Mario Scavello (R-40) said Senate passage of a proposed Constitutional amendment marks a key step in eliminating residential school property taxes through homestead exclusion authority.

Currently, the Pennsylvania Constitution allows local taxing authorities to exclude from taxation up to 50 percent of the median assessed value of homestead property within the taxing district. House Bill 147 would increase the allowable exclusion to 100 percent. If adopted, it would allow for the elimination of residential school property taxes via the homestead exclusion.

“Passage of House Bill 147 takes the state constitution’s existing property tax relief provision and builds on it to allow for the complete elimination of residential school property taxes through the homestead exclusion. This legislation is an added tool to allow school property tax elimination to be directed at residential properties and protect individuals in danger of losing their homes,” said Scavello.

“I will continue to fight and remain committed to the overall goal of full property tax elimination with passage of Senate Bill 76. However, after two unsuccessful votes, in the case that Senate Bill 76 does not continue to gain increased support we need to have other alternatives that provide relief to owner occupied residential properties”, Scavello said.

House Bill 147 was approved by the House of Representatives last year. As a Constitutional amendment, it must be passed in two consecutive legislative sessions and approved by voters to be enacted.

“We can all agree that any tax that would take a person’s home after working their entire life to pay for it is wrong and immoral. No individual should have to choose between paying for prescription medications, taking care of their health and paying for property taxes,” said Scavello. “People should be able to own their property and enactment of this constitutional amendment will protect and safeguard that constitutional right.”

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CONTACT: Christine Zubeck czubeck@pasen.gov (717) 787-6123