School Officials Agree, Grove’s Plan Best for PA
By Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover)

The cries of Pennsylvania homeowners are being heard in Harrisburg and beyond. Residents who have done everything asked of them for decades are finally saying, ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to property taxes. School districts have asked homeowners to pick up the slack and pay more to fund education because, quite frankly, there is no other option for funding education. The state House acted swiftly to address school funding last fall, passing my House Bill 1189, the Optional Property Tax Elimination Act (OPTEA). Now, school officials themselves are asking for the other parts of state government to finish the job and pass this legislation that means so much to Pennsylvania’s homeowners.

The Pennsylvania School Business Officials (PASBO), an organization of more than 3,000 professionals who oversee the budgets and funding for our state’s school districts, recently announced its 2014-15 legislative policy priorities. The organization endorses House Bill 1189 stating, “PASBO supports proposals (such as House Bill 1189) that provide school districts with needed flexibility to diversify and expand their current tax base in response to the specific needs and make up of their districts. PASBO also supports the provision of additional discretionary options at the local level to allow school districts to reduce the property tax burden while maintaining an adequate revenue stream to meet their school funding needs.”

PASBO recognizes House Bill 1189 as the only reform plan that adequately funds our schools and reduce the burden of property taxes. House Bill 1189 calls for expanding the tax base for funding our schools, and not putting the entire burden on property taxes as the system currently works. PASBO agrees with my plan of expanding the funding base with an elimination tax, consisting of a combination of Earned Income Tax (EIT), Mercantile Tax, and Business Privilege Tax, all three of which are already used by local governments and provide a stable tax base to replace property taxes. OPTEA mandates that every dollar raised through the elimination tax shall go to reduce property taxes dollar for dollar.

While other property tax “elimination” plans have never made it out of committee, House Bill 1189 swiftly passed the House Finance Committee, and the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support, because it works. School funding should not be a one-size-fits-all formula, and House Bill 1189 makes it possible for each district to find the formula that meets the needs of students without punishing homeowners today, or in future generations.

PASBO understands homeowners have been called on one too many times to pick up the tab for funding schools. It is time for property tax reform that actually works. The House did its job passing House Bill 1189. Join PASBO and school administrators across the state in urging the state Senate to pass House Bill 1189 and give homeowners the property tax relief they deserve.

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Mike Straub
717.260.6479 /
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