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Realtors to hold forum on bill that would eliminate property tax

By , - Last modified: October 18, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Should property taxes in Pennsylvania be replaced with higher personal income and sales taxes?

Jason Horwitz of the Anderson Economic Group will address that topic next week in a forum hosted by the Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors.

The Oct. 23 meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at the Best Western Plus Lehigh Valley Hotel & Conference Center, 300 Gateway Drive, Bethlehem. Attendance is free for all LVAR members and $25 for nonmembers. Register at http://tinyurl.com/lvar-publicaccess through the end of the day Oct.18.

According to Horwitz, the Property Tax Independence act would eliminate school property taxes and replace the lost funding by increasing personal income tax from the existing 3.07 percent to 4.34 percent and by hiking the sales tax from 6 to 7 percent. The act also would widen the scope of sales tax to include previously untaxed items.

The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors and the Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors are both backing the proposal, according to Ryan Conrad, executive director of the LVAR.

"There are actually many proposals circulating with regard to property tax reform," Conrad said this morning. "This is the one that seems to be gaining the most momentum and has the most potential."

Ryan said property tax reform is an important issue to the association because property taxes – especially school property taxes, generally the highest tax that homeowners pay – have a large impact on real estate sales.

"Our organization has a mission of promoting home ownership. We want to get the message out there," he said.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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