Nobody likes paying taxes, but they reflect the public investments we have chosen to make through the democratic process. That doesn’t mean we can’t improve the tax environment in the state and at the local level. At the top of that list are property taxes. But opportunities for improvement exist throughout the tax code to make the business climate better, lessen the burden on working people, and provide families with more money in their pockets.
We can improve the tax atmosphere by:
Eliminating or Significantly Reducing Residential Property Taxes
Property taxes are antiquated, unfair, and in equitable. They are further a deterrent to people aging in the homes that they have worked throughout their lives to own. And they act as a disincentive to homeowners improving and maintaining their homes. The Senate Democrats have a plan to provide substantial property tax relief and eliminate the property taxes of 60% of homeowners by providing rebates. But as a caucus, we’re willing to talk about any plan that fairly eliminates residential and farmstead property taxes.
Updating the Personal Income Tax (PIT)
The PIT rate of 3.07% in Pennsylvania is among the lowest in the country in states that impose the tax. Included in paying the PIT are many businesses that have a structured as “pass-through entities.” The Senate Democrats have a plan that will lower the PIT for individuals, while treating business or passive income differently. This will raise money, potentially to pay for property tax relief, reduce individual income tax bills, and tax business income more closely to corporate income.
Reducing the Corporate Net Income Tax and Eliminating Loopholes
Unlike the PIT, at 9.99%, Pennsylvania has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the country. But our tax code is riddled with loopholes, exemptions, tax credits, and deductions that could all be used to reduce the tax rate and provide a level playing field for all businesses, rather than just those that have the lobbying strength to get special treatment. Plans exist to cut the rate by 30 or 40 percent but not reduce state revenue, including closing the so-called “Delaware Loophole”. This is a fair path forward that the business community should embrace.
Our Members at Work
HARRISBURG, Dec. 22, 2017 – State Sen. Lisa M. Boscola (D-Northampton/Lehigh) today said she is introducing legislation that would allow homeowners to write off their paid property taxes on their state income tax returns. Pointing to the federal tax reform law that...
Op-ed by State Senators Lisa Boscola and Pat Browne
Citizens of Pennsylvania will have an opportunity to cast their vote for an important ballot question which could lead to real property tax reform. We are urging citizens to vote yes.
Due to its legal language and structure, ballot questions are often written in confusing and hard-to-understand and this one is no different. However, the underlying issue is pretty straight forward. By voting yes, voters will approve a constitutional amendment to expand the homestead exclusion from one-half of the median assessed value of all homestead properties in a taxing district to up to 100 percent of the assessed value of each homestead property.