Sen. Lisa Baker issued the following statement on her vote in support of eliminating property taxes:
“Our area has long been a hotbed of opposition to property taxes as the primary means of funding schools. Local taxpayer groups have a commendable record of concerted advocacy and civic engagement. After so many years of effort, they deserved to see an up-or-down vote taken in the state Senate.
?There is understandable frustration in coming so close – a tie broken by the negative vote of the Lieutenant Governor – only to be turned down. It is hard to understand why the Wolf Administration would not want to advance this debate and give taxpayers a real chance to make their case. Nevertheless, with the difficulties being encountered in finding votes for a property tax reduction measure in conjunction with the state budget, an elimination plan cannot be written off.
I meet frequently with individuals and groups who want to eliminate property taxes. I always assure them of my support for an approach that balances desired relief for taxpayers with the continuing ability to properly fund schools.
The problems with property taxes, as a matter of policy and in practical application, have been apparent for a long time. The status quo is unsatisfactory to nearly everyone. Yet, while there have been dozens of different plans offered over the years, an effective remedy has not been approved.
Looking at this situation from the perspective of taxpayers, it is impossible to make a convincing argument that we should not consider eliminating school property taxes and using broad-based state taxes for replacement revenue.
The current proposal is the strongest plan offered to date. It seems necessary now to craft additional changes to give this bill another shot at becoming law. How close it came to passage may draw out constructive suggestions for improvement.”
Andrew M. Seder