Homeowners Rally for Property Tax Replacement at State Capitol
5/7/2012
HARRISBURG – More than 200 years ago, a group of American colonists gathered in Philadelphia to boldly declare American independence from the British Empire. This morning, a similar group of current-day patriots were surrounded by hundreds of passionate homeowners at a rally in the state Capitol Rotunda where state legislators took turns signing the “Pennsylvania Declaration of Property Tax Independence.”

“Tyranny – whether exercised by an overseas empire or a local tax system – is inherently un-American,” said Representative Jim Cox (R-Berks), prime sponsor of the Property Tax Independence Act (House Bill 1776), which the rally was organized to support. “I was honored to stand today with fellow patriots in opposition to the tyrannical property tax system. Tyranny, in whatever form it takes, must be completely abolished. It’s not something you can tweak or change. It has to be completely uprooted.”

At the rally, the stories of homeowners and employers who struggle underneath the burden of property taxes were shared. Following the gripping narratives, state representatives and senators signed the Pennsylvania Declaration of Property Tax Independence, a brief document vowing to do everything within their power to replace the current property tax system by enacting House Bill 1776.

“Property taxes have always been a grassroots issue,” Cox said. “Homeowners may not have high-priced lobbyists or make huge campaign donations, but the power brokers in the Capitol would be foolish to ignore their demands. If a legislator’s name is not on the Declaration of Property Tax Independence, he or she is likely to hear about it from constituents back home in the district. This is a bottom-up approach to legislating instead of the customary, top-down approach where laws are created in smoke-filled rooms behind closed doors.”

In April, Cox and a large, bipartisan group of legislators unveiled the Property Tax Independence Act, which would replace the current school property tax system with new state revenues.

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. The bill would enhance collections through the state’s personal income tax by raising it from 3.07 percent to 4 percent. It also would 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.

A copy of the Pennsylvania Declaration of Property Tax Independence can be viewed on Cox’s website at www.RepJimCox.com.

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: Get the Details” banner link at the top of the page.

State Representative Jim Cox
129th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Dan Massing
dmassing@pahousegop.com
717.772.9845
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