Thursday forum will focus on Pa. property tax referendum

LOWER POTTSGROVE >> Are you confused by the state’s property tax referendum question that will be on the Nov. 7 ballot?

Get in line.

But now, you can get informed at a special forum organized by area state lawmakers to explain what it is, what it means and what it would do.

The forum will be held Thursday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Berean Bible Church, 2675 E. High St., Lower Pottsgrove.

It will be hosted by state Rep. Marcy Toepel, R-147th Dist. and will include a briefings with state Rep. Tim Hennessey, R-26th Dist., state Rep. Tom Quigley, R-146th Dist. and state Rep. Michael Corr, R-150th Dist.

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Also on hand to testify will be state Rep. David Maloney, R-130th Dist., and John Callahan, advocacy officer for government relations for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

If you can’t make the meeting, you can watch it livestreaming on your computer at either www.Rep.Toepel.com or www.PAHouseGOP.com

The referendum was created by a bill sponsored by Maloney.

It reads: “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to permit the General Assembly to enact legislation authorizing local taxing authorities to exclude from taxation up to 100 percent of the assessed value of each homestead property within a local taxing jurisdiction, rather than limit the exclusion to one-half of the median assessed value of all homestead property, which is the existing law?”

At its most basic, it would allow taxing bodies — counties, townships, boroughs, school districts, certain authorities — to expand the already legal 50 percent exemption on home values up to 100 percent.

However, few governments are likely to undertake the measure without first identifying a source of revenues to replace what would be lost by the disappearance of property taxes.

The measure is viewed, by many advocates of property tax reform as a step toward enacting such a move in Pennsylvania, which the Tax Foundation ranks as tenth highest for “effective tax rate.”

However, it does nothing about identifying a substitute source of revenue for schools and public services provided by local governments.