Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tax reform in Pennsylvania suffers another setback

Yesterday the PA House Finance Committee voted 13 to 11 to table the tax bill that would have saved thousands of Pennsylvanians from losing their homes.

House Bill 1776, school property tax elimination legislation, seeks to replace the current school district property tax with an enhanced state income tax and an expanded and increased state sales tax. 

The legislators argued that the bill should be amended before being approved, but none of these members offered any such amendments.

The bill’s sponsor, Re. Jim Cox (R-1129) said, “I wonder about the sincerity of members who said they’d vote for the bill if it was changed, but chose not to offer any amendments,” Cox said.  “In my experience in Harrisburg, that is often a tactic used to avoid an important issue.”

So, instead of sending the bill to the full House for consideration, a group of both Republicans and Democrats stymied the bill. Nothing can be done until the representatives return this fall. The risk (and the intent of the representatives that delayed (aka killed) it?) is that it will be consciously ignored and never looked at again. This is par for the course in Harrisburg.

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