Property taxes may or may not be eliminated in Pennsylvania

Could Pennsylvania property taxes be...

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania voters changed the state constitution.

"I think it was a good day for Pennsylvania," said state Rep. David Maloney, a Berks County Republican.

Maloney was a driving force behind the amendment, which could ultimately lead to the elimination of many property taxes on homeowners in the state, but just because the amendment passed, it doesn't mean your property taxes are automatically going to go away.

It does, however, open the door to allow the Legislature to act. If it chooses to, it could give local authorities the power to exempt residents from paying property taxes on their primary homes. 

"We now have options that we did not have a day ago," said state Sen. David Argall, a Republican who represents Berks and Schuylkill counties.

Argall previously sponsored Senate Bill 76, which would eliminate property taxes. It's less of a cut, though, and more of a shift, because the bill would also hike income and sales taxes.

Argall said he sees Tuesday's vote as an opening to amend SB 76 and get it passed. He told 69 News he thinks he needs only two or three more senators on board. 

"What I want to do is to sit down with the grassroots advocates who designed Senate Bill 76 and say, 'OK, where can we tweak it to gain more support?'" Argall said.

In the end, in spite of the new constitutional amendment, nothing will change without action by the Legislature.

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