January 2019—-Property Tax Elimination Update
Many of you have asked me to provide an update on our bipartisan efforts to eliminate the unfair school property tax. Because every bill that did not pass in 2017-18 has to be reintroduced, together with my colleagues I plan to reintroduce Senate Bill 76, which would eliminate school property taxes and replace the lost revenue with a combination of higher sales and personal income taxes–as so many of you have asked me to do.
There just has to be another way to fund our public schools. The current system is unfair and very outdated–with its roots in the 1600s, and it hurts homeowners throughout the state.
As many of you know, this legislation to eliminate school property taxes has quite a history. When the proposal last came up for a vote it was tied at 24 for and 24 against. Ultimately, the bill failed when Lieutenant Governor Michael Stack’s “no” vote broke the tie.
This time around my colleagues and I will be meeting with every member of the Senate–including all of our new freshmen as well as our most senior veterans to ask if they could vote for the bill. If the answer is no, we then ask: what changes can we make to the bill in order to receive your “yes” vote for school property tax elimination.
We fully understand that the odds are stacked against us–here’s the list of special interest groups who have opposed SB 76 in the past. The bottom line: we’re not giving up and neither should you!
Senate Bill 76 Explained
Goal: Eliminate all school property taxes across the Commonwealth and replace those taxes with a combination of funding from the Personal Income Tax and the Sales and Use Tax.
The school property tax has been a primary source for school funding since the 1830s. The legislature cannot continue to “fix” or “reform” this archaic tax – that is why we are proposing a new education funding model that would promote economic growth and completely eliminate the school district property tax once and for all.
- Increase the Sales and Use Tax by one percentage point and broaden the base of the state sales tax to include more services and products. Necessities and business-to-business transactions will continue to be exempt from the sales tax.
- Increase in the state’s personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 4.95 percent.
- Include Property Tax Relief Fund – Transfers.