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Property Tax on Ballot

STROUDSBURG -- Voters across the state will have the chance Tuesday to say whether school property taxes should be eliminated.

There's a question on the ballot concerning what's called the Homestead Property Tax Assessment Exclusion Act.

Local leaders say this question is about possibly eliminating your school property tax and replacing it with an increase in the state sales tax and the state income tax.

Some voters we spoke to say school property taxes are a burden to some homeowners in the Poconos, and they are hoping this might be a solution to a growing problem.

James Young from Mount Bethel is one of many voters getting ready to hit the polls during Tuesday's general election.

One question he and voters across the state will have to answer: whether they think school property taxes should be eliminated.

Young says he's felt the burden of school property taxes for many years.

"It's very high, you know? It's not good, especially for the people who don't have kids."

A yes vote would mean public support for Pennsylvania Senate Bill 76. It would eliminate school property tax and increase the state sales tax from six to seven percent and also tax some items and services that are not currently taxed.

The state income tax would increase a little more than one percent.

Senator Mario Scavello is behind eliminating school property tax. The Republican says it makes living in a place like Monroe County more affordable and keeps people in the area.

"The last thing I want to see if someone taxed out of their homes and it's happening here in this county. It's beginning to happen in Northampton County and I know it's happened in Pike, Wayne, and Carbon," said State Senator Mario Scavello, (R) Monroe County. "Luzerne County is having a problem also, and I believe it's going to continue to grow in the northeast as we continue to grow, this problem will continue to grow and there is an opportunity to fix it."

Stroudsburg Mayor Tarah Probst says the bill simply allows the government to look at other ways to pull in money for public schools.

"Voters, it's your decisions. It's not saying they are going to do anything at all, it's just giving the government opportunity in the future that if they want to look to make some changes, that it's there," said Mayor Probst.

Residents can figure out how much more they would be paying in personal income and sales taxes by using a calculator application connected to the website which gives more details on Senate Bill 76.

Read the complete bill HERE.

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35 comments

  • cheap tightwad

    I just got done reading the full bill. It was the scariest document I had ever read. They went after everyone and everything.

    Taxes on food, clothing, and shelter. Even water was not overlooked. All fuels, services and utilities. Your local income tax will be determined by how much the schools want. Even the disabled didn’t get a free ride Taxes on crutches, limbs, and Iron lungs. They even went after rebuilding army tanks.

    Even reading the affordable act was like reading about a Sunday picnic compared to this bill.

  • Josh

    And I’m betting everyone who’s whining “But I don’t have kids!” took full advantage of a public education but are too cheap to pay it forward for the next generation like the last one did for them.

    Ingrates.

    • Lance

      I dont mind paying my fair share but these schools spend more then what they take in. You get tired off that. Plus you have teachers that want more and don’t want to pay for their healthcare. Who pays we do! So stop complaining about people who are tired of the constant increases of taxes each year. I figure if the State holds the purse strings maybe the schools will have to stay on budget for once.

  • Robert Paulson

    Mayor Probst…loves to cater to her own and her cronies interests. A champion for the homeless until they are in front of her restaurant, then hails herself for dealing with the vagrant issue. Deals with neighborhood speeding by putting an electronic speed sign in front if her house, not the street where people cut through, speed and run stop signs. Plenty more…

  • NotEnoughInfo

    There isn’t enough information! Food will now be taxed but by how much? The 6% like sales tax? But sales tax will go up… to what %?
    This sounds like EVERYONE is going to end up paying more.

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      No, not everyone will be paying more. The property owners will be paying more in sales tax but saving schoolproperty tax.

      The deadbeats that freeload on the benefits of school property tax will be paying now as well.

      Equality 🙂

    • JohnKimball

      You’re right. The only logical conclusion is that this will end up being a net tax increase. You can’t expect to put the state in charge of something so huge and not have them raise taxes to pay for it.

  • Steve

    School taxes on homes is unfair. Look at those who have family owned large homes on fixed incomes wanting to keep the home in the family that has been there for generations. Then look at a person who sleeps on a mattress stuffed full of hundred dollar bills and the house is nothing more than a shack. How’s that fair?

  • Hot Carl

    You should probably consider going back to one of these schools – even as a fifth-grader – if you think the elimination of these property taxes will save you any money. When your income and sales taxes – the things that hit your wallet more than once per year – go up, you’re spending far, far more. And it will affect everyone, not just property owners sans offspring. I’m all for discussion on the idea, but not spreading the announcement on the eve of the election without responsibly educating those of us who will be filling in the circle on tomorrow’s ballot.

    • Tom

      That’s just not true. The savings on elimination of school property taxes far out weighs the cost in increased sales and state income taxes for practically every single property owner in Pennsylvania.

      • A random internet user

        Especially considering the majority of big household purchases occur on the internet, from an out of state store, which has no pa sales tax applied….

  • Case

    For my family the increase in income tax would cost us $600 more than what we pay for school tax now which would not include the additional 1% increase in sales tax. I love the idea, just not the amount of increase in taxes…

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      It’s not the consequence that you need to worry about. It’s the shift of responsibility.

      If the PA elected powers do it correctly, it would be nothing more that a passing hiccup and its would continue as usual.

      IF they do it right and we all know how that usually goes.

    • JohnKimball

      Exactly. And then it becomes a popularity contest with each municipality trying to get as much money as it can to fund it’s schools. Plus the amount of money the state will keep to pay for the costs of administrating this huge new layer of bureaucracy.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    They absolutely need to get rid of school property tax.

    Welfare deadbeats filling up apartments and sending their kids to public school on property owners dimes.

    You want equality? Help pay for your kids educations too!!!

    Not to mention people who own property and don’t have kids in the school system. It’s not right.

    • Tom

      You’re absolutely right. The people that are footing the bill are only property owners, and many of them have no children in school, or even have children at all. Then at the other end you have school districts who have a blank check to spend money on whatever they choose to. Just look at the example of the Hazleton Area School District spending $1 million on AstroTurf at their local Stadium.. it’s totally unbelievable.

      • Lloyd Schmucatelli

        And that’s exactly it. So much money wasted on sports like that. For what?

        School pride? PHUK THAT!

      • Tom

        Exactly.The only people against school property tax elimination are the special interest groups that stand to gain from keeping things as they are right now, as in teacher’s unions, and those who don’t pay their share of ever increasing property taxes. No more blank check for these people, please!

      • Robert Paulson

        Stroudsburg & E Stroudsburg have already refurbished 3 stadiums with astroturf, red clay tracks, new electronic scoreboard, training rooms, locker rooms — the list goes on. It’s why my house has peeling paint and asbestos siding.

    • warningfakenews

      Right Lloyd! It’s 5 families living in a home designed for one. I’m not complaining in that these people are doing something we won’t do in order to game the system to their advantage, but we reserve the right to re-write laws so that people doing that pay their fair share. We cannot have taxes designed to cover 50,000 people covering all the services needed for 150,000.

    • Lance

      Right! I never had kids yet my scgool taxes are ridiculous. And for what? Half days snow days delayed openings. These kids are hardly in school so let the state pay the local districts maybe some one will finally work under their budget

  • Tom

    It’s about time something may finally be done about out of control school property taxes. This nonsense has gone on for way way too long. It’ll finally force the school districts to follow a budget , like everyone else must follow, instead of the reckless spending they’ve been doing all these years. Vote YES on the referendum!

    • JohnKimball

      I like the idea of making the districts follow budgets, but how in the heck is the state going to be able to fairly determine how much to give back to each school district out of this huge new pool of money they’re given to play with?