Cox: House Could Vote on Property Tax ‘Relief’ Bills as Early as Next Week
HARRISBURG – The state House on Wednesday adjourned without voting on four property tax-related bills, none of which were the Property Tax Independence Act (House Bill 76) introduced by Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks). However, the bills could come up for a vote in the chamber as early as next week and, if they do, Cox said legislators who support true property tax replacement will be ready to respond.

“I filed an amendment that would change one of the bills into the Property Tax Independence Act,” said Cox.

The plan is to attempt to tack the amendment onto House Bill 1189, a piece of legislation that would allow local school districts to decide whether or not to reduce school district property taxes. The bill would allow school districts to impose an earned income tax, several business taxes or a combination of the new taxes.

“My goal has been to fully replace school district property taxes,” Cox said. “House Bill 1189 would actually give school districts an increased ability to tax. School districts could enact one or more of these new taxes in year one to provide a meager property tax reduction, then turn around in year two and increase school property taxes. These increases could occur year after year, potentially requiring a homeowner to pay both higher school property taxes AND a higher earned income tax. As long as school districts have the power to tax our properties, Pennsylvanians will never be secure in their homes.”

Supporters have argued that the local approach outlined in House Bill 1189 may be easier to get through the General Assembly. Cox said that property rights are something that should not be denied to someone based on the school district in which they live.

“We do not leave it up to local school boards to decide whether or not to grant people their First Amendment freedom of speech or their Second Amendment right to bear arms,” Cox said. “We should not allow school districts to decide whether a person will have the right to be secure in his or her home. Every Pennsylvanian deserves to have their property rights defended and House Bill 1189 falls miserably short in protecting property owners.”

Representative Jim Cox
129th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Daniel Massing
717.772.9845 /
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