Since most of us have just paid our local, county and school property tax bills, what can we expect next year?
This is the time of year when municipalities are actively engaged in balancing a budget of ever increasing expenses with stagnant or, at best, slightly increasing revenues. By Pennsylvania statute, small-medium-sized municipalities only have four principal sources of revenue: an earned income tax, a property tax, a local services tax and a land transfer tax.
In the Centre Region, these revenue options tend to be inadequate. This is particularly true when you take into account our requirement to support the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region each year.
State legislators from Philadelphia and Allegheny County have provided additional revenue options to support their constituents. By authorizing both a local sales and liquor tax to support safety/security services and infrastructure, our big city cousins have greater flexibility during their budget formulation process.
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What we need is statewide authorization for counties to have the option to implement a sales and/or liquor taxes. These consumption taxes would go a long way to freeze/reduce both county and municipal property taxes.
Sen. Corman and U.S. Representatives Benninghoff and Conklin, how about sponsoring legislation to allow your constituents the authorization to levy consumption taxes to alleviate our property tax burden? Your efforts at the state level for property tax relief are noble, but providing greater local self-determination would be more efficient and fair.
Ron Madrid, State College