Despite a majority of Pennsylvanian’s who have a negative view of property taxes, a majority of members of the House Finance Committee believe the Property Tax Independence Act leaves too many questions unanswered and needs to be further reviewed by the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO). Proponents of tabling the bill encouraged waiting until the IFO’s fiscal analysis was available, and then amending the bill and reporting it to the floor. Rep. Cox, on the other hand, asserted that the Committee has passed bills before that required amendments on the floor before final passage, and urged his colleagues to vote to report the Bill.
Arguments on the merits of the bill remained virtually unchanged from the previous hearing. As you would expect in any conversation about tax policy, a number of members said that while many Pennsylvanians would love to see their property taxes relieved, they aren’t thrilled with the prospect of increased income and sales taxes. Until the IFO can confirm the economic impact of the tax shift, members will not be able to determine how their constituents will be affected.
Though it is not likely that HB 1776 will resurface this spring, it may not disappear for the session. Even those who voted in favor of tabling the bill promised to reexamine and resume debate when the IFO fiscal analysis is made available to them.
The Triadvocate is a publication of Triad Strategies, LLC, a bipartisan lobbying, public affairs, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, issue management consulting firm located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh