The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® (PAR) has announced its support of comprehensive property tax reform. Specifically, PAR is supporting Senate Bill 76 and has launched a new website, RealReform76.com, dedicated to highlighting the benefits of SB 76. SB 76 proposes to eliminate property taxes dedicated to school districts and replace the funding by raising the personal income tax from 3.07 to 4.34 percent and increasing and broadening the sales tax from 6 to 7 percent to include previously exempted items.
“We urge Realtors® to visit the website and send a letter to their senators,” said 2013 PAR President Bette McTamney. “If your senator supports SB 76, the letter will thank them for their support. If your senator doesn’t support SB 76, the letter will ask them to do so.”
RealReform76.com is not just for Realtors®. Consumers may share their personal stories on how property taxes have adversely affected them. RealReform76 also has a Facebook page and Twitter account which you are encouraged to share on your pages. Please ask others to join in this effort to help pass SB 76.
“As Realtors®, many of us have heard stories from clients who couldn’t afford to buy a home because the taxes were too high, or seniors who lost their homes because they couldn’t pay the property taxes,” McTamney said.
While media coverage in October highlighted House Bill 1189, PAR believes SB 76 offers the most fiscally responsible option for property tax reform. PAR does not support HB 1189 because it is a patchwork approach to reform and there are no guarantees that property taxes will be eliminated at the local level.
Based on an economic impact study by Anderson Economic Group, SB 76 is nearly revenue neutral. PAR is working with the sponsors of the legislation to address drafting errors. Once corrected, PAR’s economist believes the bill will be revenue neutral. The economic study also shows that even with the increase in personal income tax (PIT), Pennsylvania would still have a lower PIT than the surrounding states.
“PAR believes in maintaining an environment that allows homeownership to flourish,” McTamney added. “SB 76 will make Pennsylvania a more attractive state for economic development and homeownership.”