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Tax Reform Committee Ended Its Hearings; Report Due

HARRISBURG PA – Outgoing state Rep. Tom Quigley, who represented Pottstown, Lower Pottsgrove and Limerick for several years in the House but lost a re-election bid in November (2012), last week led the final meting of his House Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and lamented that it has taken so long to help relieve local property tax burdens.

“The issue of property tax reform has vexed this General Assembly for more than four decades,” Quigley said Thursday (Nov. 29) as the committee’s hearings ended. “This issue has been an ongoing concern in my district and other regions throughout the state. I believe it is imperative to keep moving forward with the dialog and the examination of property tax reform.”

“If we don’t move forward, the inertia of the status quo will pull us backward,” he added.

The 13-member bipartisan select committee was formed by Quigley’s House Resolution 774.  It held hearings throughout the summer and fall to gather information about the many complex issues surrounding property tax reform.

“We are not trying to reinvent the wheel,” said Quigley.  “We are trying to find common ground on legislation that can be enacted in short order when the General Assembly reconvenes in 2013.”

He cited, as one example, the potential re-introduction of House Bill 2300, which would amend the state Constitution to allow local taxing authorities the power to completely exclude homesteads from property taxes. It also would remove a constitutional barrier that prevents the Legislature from enacting a law to provide full property tax exclusion. The bill has faced stiff opposition in the past.

The committee’s official report is expected to be publicly available later this month.

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