Argall: Beware the governor’s “bait and switch” property tax plan

HARRISBURG – Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) released the following statement regarding Governor Wolf’s school property tax proposal: “Eighty-four grassroots taxpayer groups across the state have rallied behind a proposal they designed to eliminate school property taxes by shifting to increases in the income and sales taxes. The growing call to eliminate school property taxes crosses traditional political boundaries and covers every corner of Pennsylvania. “Today, the governor proposed a permanent increase of sales and income taxes for a temporary reduction in school property taxes. In a few years, those property taxes will grow and taxpayers will be left with higher income taxes, higher sales taxes and again, high school property taxes. Needless to say, today’s budget proposal is not a long-term solution for the taxpayers, instead, it is a long-term solution to grow taxes, with no limits on spending. “I don’t believe that the governor’s plan – by far, the largest tax increase ever proposed in state history – is a realistic solution. Instead, we have to address major cost-drivers in state government and completely eliminate the unfair, 1834-model school property tax. Elimination is the key – not some ‘bait and switch’ scheme.”

David Baldinger, Spokesperson of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations, including 84 grassroots groups across the state, added: “Governor Wolf’s property tax relief plan is simply more smoke and mirrors that, in the end, accomplishes nothing. As long as school property taxes are allowed to increase unchecked there is NO ‘relief’ plan that will work. Replacement funding sources like the sales and income tax increase at one-third the rate of increase of the school property taxes; you might see a few years of help but, in the end, the property tax will go right back to where it was before but with the new replacement taxes to pay. This is not a solution to the property tax crisis.”