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