The Property Tax Relief Scholarship Act

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To date, the school property tax discussion in Pennsylvania has narrowly focused on the revenue side of the equation, without addressing the spending side of the ledger. This has led to proposals that merely shift revenue sources from property taxes to higher sales or income taxes. The result under these various scenarios is that some taxpayers will “win” and others will “lose,” depending on a family’s income and whether they rent or own a home.

This policy brief proposes a better means of providing school property tax relief in Pennsylvania. It recommends the establishment of the Property Tax Relief Scholarship Act which, if implemented, could potentially provide school property tax relief to every Pennsylvania homeowner worth more than five times the relief provided under the Homeowner Tax Relief Act (Act 72 of 2004). In addition, the Property Tax Relief Scholarship Act would likely provide greater property tax relief without shifting the burden from one taxpayer to another, or raising taxes on working families.