Voters Say "Yes" to Property Tax Reform; Now What Happens

(WBRE/WYOU-TV) Pennsylvania voters approved a referendum question that could pave the way for the eventual elimination of property taxes. The I-Team's Andy Mehalshick took a closer look at what this could mean for your bottom line.

 The " yes " vote allows state lawmakers to adopt a constitutional  amendment that could open the door for reductions and possibly the elimination of property taxes.

It's been talked about for decades but wanting it and achieving it are two entirely different things.

  "I certainly hope something gets done and gets done rapidly. Taxes in our area are absolutely atrocious." Said Carolyn Tobias from Conyngham.  She wants the state to use a sales tax hike to reduce property tax burdens on home owners, especially senior citizens who live on a fixed income.

 "I almost wish they would take us up to a percentage with taxes that we pay on everyday usage on buying things rather than the 6 percent go to 7 and help us out a bit." Added Tobias

Voters approved the constitutional amendment question 54 to 46 percent....but it raises another question: what next?

 "Now the legislature has to act." Said Senator John Yudichak.

But lawmakers have not moved on property tax reform for decades. The big question,  how to replace the hundreds of millions of dollars raised by property taxes.

Senator John Yudichak thinks a more fair tax plan is the way to go..   "I think the consumer tax we're a consumer based economy. The sales tax needs to be modernized we haven’t modernized it since the late 1960's."

"Where is the funding going to come from?" asks Brian Uplinger, Hazleton Area School District Superintendent

Area School Districts -like Hazleton are paying close attention to all of this. They stand to lose their main source of funding.

 “Increase different taxes with the state on food clothes things like that. But that money would have to be guaranteed to come to the school district." Said Uplinger.

Uplinger and other are superintendents told the I-Team that are very concerned that if there is no guaranteed funding source to replace property taxes-- educational programs could be in jeopardy.  


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