Bipartisan Coalition Working Together on Plan to Permanently Abolish School Property Taxes
Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks) was joined by a bipartisan coalition of state lawmakers today to announce the introduction of legislation to eliminate school property taxes paid by homeowners.
“For the past several months, we have been working together with the bipartisan objective of abolishing school property taxes for primary residences while addressing school district financial distress and school funding equity imbalances,” said Rohrer. “The completion of the first stage of this collaborative endeavor leads us to believe now more than ever, that we can put public education on a firm and fair financial footing and deliver genuine school property tax relief in as little as three years time.”
In addition to Rohrer, the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers that have been working on the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 since its inception include, House Republican Whip David Argall, (R-Schuylkill/Berks), Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks), Rep. Gordon Denlinger (R-Lancaster), Rep. Tom Yewcic (D-Cambria/Somerset) and a number of other House Democrats. 
“Property taxes are an unfair burden for Pennsylvania homeowners,” Argall said.  “As we’ve seen in the past, tweaking the system in one way or another does little to address the problem.  The only way to truly solve Pennsylvania’s property tax problem is by abolishing this tax altogether.  At the same time, we are committed to providing the funding necessary for our public schools to ensure every child has a chance to succeed.”
While certain details remain subject to discussion, the agreed to principles for the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 include:
  • It must eliminate school property and nuisance taxes, though it may take three to four years.
  • It must be based on a reliable, consistent and elastic dedicated funding program.
  • It must move substantially and quickly toward reasonable and long overdue equity.
  • It must be a funding system that fulfils our Constitutional responsibility to provide a thorough and efficient system of public education, while simultaneously abolishing property and nuisance taxes.
  • There must be blended revenues that are fair and least burdensome to Pennsylvanians least able to afford any financial burden. This may consist of an expansion of the SUT base or rate, a small component of PIT, and Gaming Revenues.
A Constitutional Amendment to allow for abolishing school property taxes on all homes and farms while still retaining some property tax for all other properties.  
“Today we return to the fight for Pennsylvania’s tax-paying citizens by continuing our work for commonsense property tax reform,” said Denlinger. “We continue to build and expand on this tremendous level of support because Pennsylvania taxpayers from all walks of life have called their legislators, written letters and sent e-mails to make their voices heard.   If you think the time has come to eliminate school property taxes, there is no time like the present to contact your senator, representative and, especially, the governor to support the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007.”
“The people of this Commonwealth have repeatedly expressed their desire for the complete elimination of property taxes and a new system of funding our schools,” said Quigley.  “I believe the plan we are preparing will offer a comprehensive approach to adopting a new taxation system that will more equitably distribute the burden of funding education.”
The lawmakers also announced that they plan an aggressive schedule of public hearings in coming weeks to gather public input on the property tax elimination plan with the objective of bringing the initial aspects of the proposal up for a full House vote in the near future.
“I stand with property owners in Pennsylvania in saying that enough is enough,” said Cox. “We’ve wasted countless years throwing unsustainable tax relief plans against the wall to see if one would stick. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania homeowners are left holding the bill, again and again. The School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 brings true relief to these homeowners in the form of completely eliminating school property taxes – NOW!”
For the latest updates or to accurately calculate individual property owner savings under the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007, Pennsylvania taxpayers are encouraged to visit, or
“Any tax that has the power to displace Pennsylvania’s property owners is immoral, unconstitutional and should be permanently abolished,” said Rohrer.   “Incorporating significant bi-partisan changes identified in our joint discussions and the House debates of last session, the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 stands alone as the only comprehensive solution that holds the potential to equitably and fully fund Pennsylvania’s public schools while guaranteeing true property ownership for all of Pennsylvania’s current and future homeowners.” 
Rep. Samuel Rohrer
128th District
Rep. David Argall
124th District
Rep. Gordon Denlinger
99th District
Rep. Thomas J. Quigley
146th District
Rep. Jim Cox
129th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin
House Republican Public Relations
(717) 772-9979
October 31, 2007