Cox Unveils Property Tax Independence Act
4/2/2012
HARRISBURG – Flanked by many of his colleagues in the state House and Senate and the leader of a taxpayer coalition, Representative Jim Cox (R-Berks) at a Capitol news conference today unveiled the Property Tax Independence Act (House Bill 1776), legislation that would replace school property tax funding for schools across the Commonwealth with new state revenues.

“The Property Tax Independence Act is about empowering Pennsylvanians to truly own their homes,” Cox said. “No homeowner should have to pay ‘rent’ to the government just to stay in his or her home. More than 230 years ago, we fought a war for independence from foreign tyranny. Today, we are leading the struggle to eliminate the domestic tyranny of school property taxes.”

The Property Tax Independence Act would provide the same level of funding for schools across the Commonwealth as they currently receive through school property taxes. However, the plan would eliminate school property taxes and replace the funds with additional state revenues. Specifically, the bill would enhance collections through the state’s personal income tax by raising it from 3.07 percent to 4 percent. It would also generate additional funds by closing loopholes in the state sales tax and raising the rate from 6 percent to 7 percent.

The plan would apply the 7 percent sales tax to clothing and footwear that cost $50 or more, non-prescription drugs and food items that are not part of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.

In addition, it would close loopholes that currently exempt dry cleaning, funeral expenses, amusement parks and other services from the state sales tax. It would close similar loopholes that also exempt newspapers, magazines, flags, gum, candy, and other goods from the sales tax.

“I love M&Ms as much as the next guy, but I’d be willing to pay an extra 7 cents for a $1 bag of candy if it meant my entire property tax bill would disappear,” Cox said.

The bill has been enthusiastically endorsed by the independent Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations (PCTA). PCTA leader David Baldinger was at Monday’s news conference and offered his full support for the Property Tax Independence Act.

For additional information about the Property Tax Independence Act, including a complete list of items that would be subject to the expanded state sales tax, constituents should visit www.RepJimCox.com and click on the “Property Tax Independence Act” banner at the top of the page. Click here to view the Property Tax Independence Act handout.

State Representative Jim Cox
129th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Dan Massing
dmassing@pahousegop.com
717.772.9845
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