TEN REASONS TO ELIMINATE THE SCHOOL TAX
Eliminating the oppressive school property tax has a result that almost everyone recognizes: To
finally allow true homeownership for Pennsylvanians. But there are actually many more
benefits to eliminating this onerous, antiquated tax.
Those certain Harrisburg lawmakers who continue to tout ineffective, valueless property tax
“relief” schemes like local tax shifts and small partial reductions to solve the problem are
woefully oblivious to the damage property taxes are doing to Pennsylvania and the greater
good that can come from total elimination. They need to remove their blinders and educate
themselves about the real issues when considering how to deal with the property tax problem -
it's not just about property tax relief.
- More than ten thousand Pennsylvanians lose their homes to sheriff’s sales each year and
many more are forced to sell to avoid having their home seized for non-payment of property
- In many areas of the state, homes at the median sale price of $200,000 have property tax
burdens of $10,000 or more annually. This makes these homes almost impossible to sell and is
destroying the real estate market in these areas.
- The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annually releases their “Rich States, Poor
States” report that ranks states based on 15 factors of economic competitiveness. In the June,
2011 report Pennsylvania was ranked:
41st in outmigration
43rd in economic competitiveness
46th in economic performance
Antony Davies, professor of economics at Duquesne University, described these rankings as a
symptom of increasing property taxes, which, along with increased income taxes, affects where
young college graduates chose to move and live. Davies said, “They can go anywhere they
want, so of course the states that are going to attract them on average are states with lower
, June 21, 2011)
Runaway property taxes are destroying Pennsylvania’s economy, driving away its residents, and
are discouraging entrepreneurs from starting new businesses that would create jobs for
Here are ten well-considered reasons to eliminate the property tax that will benefit the lives of
all Pennsylvanians and will help to make our Commonwealth an economic powerhouse and a
great place to live, work, and raise a family.
1. Achieve True Home Ownership
You never really own your home as long as it can be taken from you for not paying your
property taxes. You’re simply paying rent to the government under threat of eviction.
2. Stabilize School Funding
Many school districts are struggling with steep declines in property tax revenues as a result of
assessment appeals by home and business owners. HB 1776, The Property Tax Independence
Act, creates a stable, predictable,
stream of revenue for K-12 education.
3. Help Prevent Foreclosures
Many homes that are in danger of being foreclosed could be saved with the elimination of the
monthly property tax escrow that can amount to as much as 40% of a mortgage payment.
4. Restore Plummeting Real Estate Values
Because of excessively high property taxes, homes in some areas of Pennsylvania have sharply
declined in value and have become almost impossible to sell. Replacing the school property tax
with other funding sources will restore value and make these homes more attractive to buyers.
5. Boost the Sagging Housing Market
Elimination of the monthly property tax escrow payment will make homeownership more
affordable, increasing both new and existing home sales.
6. Attract Business to Pennsylvania
Businesses are eager to establish a presence in states where the tax burden is low. Attracting
business to Pennsylvania by replacing the property tax can be a huge stimulus for the state’s
7. Generate Jobs for Pennsylvanians
The second largest fixed cost for Pennsylvania business owners is the property tax. Many
business owners have stated that the savings gained by no longer paying the property tax
would enable them to expand their businesses and hire more employees.
8. Create a Massive Stimulus for Pennsylvania
PROPERTY TAX ELIMINATION
TEN REASONS TO ELIMINATE