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State Rep. Proposes Bill to Do Away with Property Tax Funding For School Districts

Berks County state Rep. Jim Cox's bill would fund school districts with earned income and sales tax increases and new taxes on food, clothing, TV and air transportation.

Several media outlets are reporting on state Rep. Jim Cox (R-129th District – Berks County) and his HB 1776 – the "Property Tax Independence Act." 

Hundreds of supporters of the proposed bill descended on Harrisburg last Monday to rally "for change to keep the American dream alive across the commonwealth," attendees told WFMZ TV in Allentown.

Cox recently visited The Times Herald to talk about the bill which he says will raise $5 billion by increasing the earned income tax from 3.07% to 4% and the state sales tax to 7%. He said the state would bring in an additional $4.6 billion by adding new taxes on food, clothing, TV and air transportation. Pennsylvania allocated over $10 billion for education in the 2010-2011 budget.

"We’re well on our way [to] the full replacement of the school property taxes," Cox told Herald editor Stan Huskey. "We’re not eliminating the revenue; we’re just finding a better way to do it."

Cox says the bill is designed to level the playing field for Pennsylvania residents when it comes to paying for public education. According to Cox, of the 12 million Pennsylvanians, only about four million own property. Those four million are paying for public education that benefits all of us.

"All this sales and income tax does is spread it out among 12 million people, making it a much more fair way to tax people," Cox told the Herald. "Everybody in Pennsylvania benefits from the education system, why should one-third of the population be footing the bill for the entire state?"

The bill, introduced last month, is scheduled to be read publicly for the first time at a finance committee hearing in Harrisburg on May 21.

You can download a FAQ about HB 1776 provided by state Rep. Jim Cox in our PDF section and hear Cox explain it himself in the video in our media section.

Lee May 21, 2012 at 03:24 PM
I listed that phillyburb letter, called it article by mistake, because it references a very pricey school district where house prices are high for middle and low income people as example of how everyone can save from HB1776. So your comment is based on only posts here and the letter I listed? That's not fair to your bottom line, which will improve because the broadened sales tax and slightly increased income tax in PA will not only fund schools beautifully, but allow people to keep more of the fruits of their own labor. I understand teachers feel threatened by this and many many stories in the news about their pension bomb coming, and it is ashame because every teacher I know is outstanding. But the results speak for themselves overall and throwing more and more of our money at it is only making the citizens poorer, not the kids smarter. Sure I see what you are saying, then go to the main site: http://www.ptcc.us/pfpfcalc.htm
Thom Moses July 01, 2012 at 09:46 PM
In 1984 I purchased a lot for $25,000 and built my own home for under $100,000. initially my school tax was around $1700 now my school tax has skyrocked to $8000. By the time I collect my SS, I suppose the tax will be about equal to my SS. They might as well send the check directly to the PV schools. Are children will be required to pay $500,000 to $1,000,000 to live in the same community they went to school in. "Public Education" The gift that keeps on taking! It would be cheaper if everyone paid for their own education.
Thom Moses July 01, 2012 at 09:48 PM
It's my understanding that the current 6% sales tax was enacted in 1954 as the public school funding act.
Thom Moses July 01, 2012 at 09:58 PM
The current system favors the wealthy, ie.. you have to have a high income to live in a nice home. It hurts the retired, elderly, low income, people who have become ill and can no longer work loose their homes. The current public education system is failing. More money, Washington DC and teacher unions have changed education into a political and social engineering platform to brainwash our children into favoring marxism over freemarket capitalism.
Jim Combs July 05, 2012 at 09:59 AM
The information at www.ptcc.us is conjecture not facts.

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