Monday, June 18, 2012

Live by the property tax, die by the property tax

Opponents of efforts to reform Pennsylvania's antiquated school property tax system are running out of excuses.

Holding a gun to property owners' heads to force them to pay property taxes may work ... until the economy sours, which it has for the past 5 years, and then the property owners seek relief from the courts.

From a story by Michael Rellahan of the West Chester Daily Local News:
WEST CHESTER – Chester County Common Pleas Senior Judge Thomas Gavin has ruled in favor of the Exton Square Mall in its appeal of its 2010-2011 property tax assessment, meaning a possible long-term loss of revenue for the West Chester Area School District, among others, which had argued against the appeal.

Gavin, in a ruling made Friday, agreed with the mall’s real estate appraiser that the assessed value of the 39-year-old regional mall was $52.6 million, far below either the Chester County Board of Assessment’s value of $62.5 million and the school district’s expert’s calculation of $62.3 million.
So where is the West Chester School District going to make up the lost tax revenues?

Eliminating school property taxes and substituting a combination of sales taxes/income taxes is the only way to fund public education.

That's why it's distressing that Pennsylvania legislators have tabled House Bill 1776.

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