Ward Unveils Measure Allowing Local Governments to Eliminate Property Taxes, Choose Taxing Option with Voter Approval

Harrisburg – Sen. Kim Ward (R-39) today announced a proposed Constitutional amendment to ultimately grant any local government in Pennsylvania the option, with local voter approval, to eliminate property taxes and choose from alternative taxing options to make up for the loss revenues.

The measure, co-sponsored with Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-42), would cover counties, municipalities and school districts.

“This measure is aimed at bringing about property tax elimination in areas that believe it is needed, but holding harmless the taxpayers and school districts in parts of the state that don’t think paying more in income and sales taxes is the best answer for them,” said Ward.

As a proposed Constitutional amendment, the legislation must be passed by the General Assembly in two consecutive sessions and approved by voters in a statewide referendum.

If successful, the amendment would allow for enabling legislation to ultimately permit any local government, with voter approval, to eliminate property taxes and replace the lost revenue with the enactment or increase of any of the following taxing options to be levied only within that political subdivision: personal income tax, sales and use tax or any tax authorized under the Local Tax Enabling Act.

“While no one likes property taxes, the decision as to whether they need to be remedied or not should be done locally, not by Harrisburg via a one-size-fits-all solution, which continues to be considered within the state legislature.  The idea of Harrisburg doling out almost all education funding sets up the very real potential that taxpayers in many parts of the Commonwealth would see funding for their schools sent to other districts without any local say,” said Ward.

CONTACT: Geri Lynn Sarfert gsarfert@pasen.gov  (717) 787-1640