Rendell Announces Property Tax “Relief”

Gov. Rendell today announced an estimated $770 million in property tax “relief” from slots revenue, or about $200 per homeowner.

As always, I put “relief” in quotes because the amount of “relief” is far outpaced by the increases in property taxes – an estimated $3 billion since slots the slots law was enacted in 2004.  This year, the estimated “relief” will be about $160 million more than last year, but property taxes will likely increase by around $600 million.

Indeed, while the news story reads, “Millions of Pennsylvanians received tax cuts last year, the first time slots money was distributed,” it would be more accurate to say, “Millions of Pennsylvanians received smaller tax increases than they otherwise would”. 

Likewise while the article says “the state released enough to cut school property taxes by about 10 percent.”  It is more accurate to say that average Homestead and Farmstead owners saw average tax rebates of 10%.  Business property owner, rental property owners, and the rest saw no reduction; the total “cut” was closer to 5% of school property taxes.