Despite Constitutional Amendment Vote, Property Taxes Likely to Remain
Despite 54% of people voting in favor of a Constitutional Amendment allowing for local taxing authorities to exempt homeowners from paying property tax on their primary residence, the likelihood of that actually happening remains small.
According to the Inquirer, history is not on the side of property taxes being removed even with the amendment.
“The reason that no one has gone whole hog to get rid of the tax is that we need the things the tax pays for,” University of California San Diego sociology professor Isaac Martin told the Inquirer.
The amendment itself does not actually change any taxes for homeowners immediately, it instead opens the door for the system to be changed or completely thrown out.
In other states that have seen the people push for property tax elimination, the push either failed completely or saw property taxes limited.
From the Inquirer:
North Dakota voters rejected a 2012 ballot measure that would have outlawed them. California lawmakers dealt with the issue with a 1978 law — the so-called Proposition 13 “mad as hell” tax revolt — that restricted increases in property assessments. Since California adopted those limits, several other states have followed with similar mixtures of limitations to protect homeowners.
When it comes to specifically Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University professor of economic and public policy Robert Strauss says that there are too many other issues for it to become a reality.
“The real world of state and local government is filled with a lot of problems and issues. The initiative, in my judgement, went to the wrong goal line. It was kind of wishful thinking,” Strauss said.