DiSanto Proposes Constitutional Amendment to Eliminate School Property Taxes

HARRISBURG—Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) has introduced a proposal that would allow Pennsylvania residents to vote directly on the elimination of school property taxes through an amendment to the state constitution.

 DiSanto said, “Constituents in my district and across the entire Commonwealth are suffering greatly under the weight of constantly increasing school property taxes. The status quo is unacceptable, and voter approval of this constitutional amendment would force the General Assembly to address this issue once and for all. Powerful and entrenched special interests opposing reform would no longer be able to block needed action.”

For decades, relief measures such as school property tax referendums and casino gaming have fallen short of expectations and have done little to ease the burden of Pennsylvania homeowners—especially our seniors living on fixed-incomes.

As recently as 2017, Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment expanding the homestead exclusion to 100 percent of a home’s assessed value, yet three more years have passed with no meaningful property tax reforms.

DiSanto said, “I continue to advocate for and support the bipartisan Property Tax Independence Act, introduced as Senate Bill 76, but it has been nearly five years since this measure was last considered on the floor of the Senate, when it was defeated by just one vote. The Governor has expressed his opposition. It’s past time to allow the people of Pennsylvania directly to decide the future of school property tax elimination.”

Much like the Property Tax Independence Act, this constitutional amendment would have the General Assembly replace school property tax revenues with a combination of state and local sales and income taxes. DiSanto’s proposal would guarantee that our local school districts receive the same amount of revenue as they did from the property tax, so education funding would be more equitable for taxpayers while ensuring school needs are met.

 

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman 717-787-6801 cerdman@pasen.gov