Odd U-Turn on Property Tax Relief

In the House debate over property taxes relief, focusing on David Levdansky’s HB 1600 (increasing the state sales tax and person income tax to provide about $1.5 billion in annual property tax rebates) the House overwhelmingly rejected Sam Rohrer’s amendment which would have eliminated property taxes (primarily through expansion of sales tax to different products and services).

Then the House overwhelmingly passed the Perzel amendment which would eliminate property taxes for low-income (under $40,000) seniors (over 65). The amendment not only strips out any tax shifting, but redirects the gaming money promised to broad property tax relief to only seniors. According to Rep. Perzel’s news release, it would cost approximately $1 billion dollars – or the entire gaming revenue. The news story states,

the final tally was skewed by bandwagon-jumpers who did not want to be seen as casting an anti-senior vote once the Perzel plan garnered a majority

I’m no political advisor, but I’m guessing taking away the property tax relief already promised to all (non-senior) Pennsylvanians from gambling won’t resonate all that well.