Thursday, January 31, 2008

PA House votes to give slots money to seniors for tax relief

The PA state House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to relieve lower income seniors of their school property tax burden, undercutting a proposal that would have slashed property taxes for all homeowners but raised sales and income taxes.  The property tax debate was expected to continue Wednesday amid uncertainty about what if anything will finally emerge from the chamber.

The plan that was approved Tuesday, sponsored by veteran Republican floor strategist Rep. John M. Perzel of Philadelphia, would dedicate the billion dollars or more a year that the slots gambling industry is projected to generate to pay the taxes of older Pennsylvanians on 600,000 homes and other properties.
It passed 159-36 but requires another favorable vote to be sent to the Senate.

Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, D-Greene, said the House would next take up a proposal to amend the constitution by ending school districts' authority to levy real estate property taxes in 2010. If passed, it could in turn affect or cancel out Perzel's legislation.  Perzel's amendment includes an age limit of 65 and an income limit for a full tax cut of $40,000. It would not increase any other taxes, unlike the Democratic plan, but it would leave empty-handed about 2.7 million families who would otherwise be on track to get tax relief next year. Perzel disputed predictions his legislation would be vetoed.

Source:  AP/PhillyBurbs.com, http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/246-01302008-1479368.html

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