Property tax cuts advance in Pa. House

January 17, 2008 1:25:31 PM PST
A constitutional amendment to permit elimination of homeowners' property taxes advanced out of the state House of Representatives, but it faces a long road ahead. The measure would expand a provision in the state constitution that allows a 50 percent cut in property taxes for people's primary homes. The amendment would allow the elimination of such taxes, while keeping taxes in place for businesses and other commercial properties.

The bill was one of two items to emerge from the House as Democratic leaders push for ways to cut school taxes. The other, which also passed unanimously Thursday, would give tax breaks to working poor while cutting the state's personal income tax by about a billion dollars a year.

The constitutional amendment would need to pass the Senate this year and then get another round of approval by the Legislature in the 2009-10 session before going to state voters for a referendum.

The House adjourned until the week of Jan. 28, when it is expected to take up bills that would reduce property taxes but make up the revenues with increased sales or income taxes.