By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The Pennsylvania House has passed and sent to the Senate a bill that would give local school districts the option of increasing other taxes for the purpose of lowering property taxes.
The state House just earlier this week again failed to pass legislation that would create a statewide formula to eliminate school property taxes. So now the House has passed a measure that would give local districts options.
Critics say school districts have so far not exercised options they currently have for tax shifting. But Republican Seth Grove, sponsor of the House bill, says presently, districts must get voter approval first.
“And it’s very, very difficult to go to referendum with tax shifting mechanisms. I think that’s why it’s failed in the past,” Grove said. “This gives direct tax authority to the school districts to do that direct tax shift.”
The bill goes to the Senate. A spokesman says while the Senate will review the House bill as part of an overall effort to reduce the property tax burden. He notes many majority Senate Republicans are keen on the idea of freezing the property taxes of senior citizens.