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PA-BGT: Breakdown of State Senate Property Tax Vote

pa-state-capitol-b175d9a07740ecf3It took a bipartisan coalition to ensure there would be no movement on the state budget before Thanksgiving. Lt. Gov. Mike Stack was required to decide the fate of Senate Bill 76 on Monday after a 24-24 vote in the upper chamber.

Stack used his tiebreaker vote as President of the Senate to kill the property tax overhaul bill, which would have transferred over $14 billion in school property taxes from the state’s coffers to local school boards. Voters would have been given the right of final approval for any local school tax increases if the bill passed.

Both parties were split on the proposal, with three-fifths of the GOP caucus voting for the bill, while two-thirds of Democratic Senators registered their opposition.

The bill could still have life in the State Senate though, as Sen. Wayne Fontana missed the vote and the 50th senator, Guy Reschenthaler, was sworn in Tuesday, giving Republicans a 31-19 majority. Both would have been expected to vote in favor of the bill, Marc Levy of the Associated Press reported.


18 GOP senators led the push for SB76 and were joined by 6 Democrats:


Rich Alloway, Ryan Aument, Camera Bartolotta

Dave Argall, Lisa Baker, Pat Browne

Bob Mensch, John Rafferty, Joe Scarnati

John Eichelberger,  Mike Folmer, Mario Scavello

Lloyd Smucker, Patrick Stefano, Elder Vogel

Randy Vulakovich, Scott Wagner, Don White


Lisa Boscola, Jim Brewster, Andy Dinniman

Judy Schwank, John Wonziak, John Yudichak


The 24 votes against SB76 were split among the parties. 12 Democrats and 12 Republicans opposed the measure, including Jake Corman, who has spent the last five months negotiating a budget framework with Gov. Tom Wolf – a framework SB76 threatened to destroy.


Michele Brooks, Jake Corman, John Gordner

Stewart Greenleaf, Scott Hutchinson, Thomas McGarrigle

Chuck McIlhinney, Dominic Pileggi, Tommy Tomlinson

Pat Vance, Kim Ward, Gene Yaw


John Blake, Jay Costa, Lawrence Farnese

Arthur Haywood, Vincent Hughes, Shirley Kitchen

Daylin Leach, John Sabatina, Christine Tartaglione

Rob Teplitz, Sean Wiley, Anthony Williams

13 Responses

  1. To many liberal douche nozzles in the Pa house and Senate…. It’s time to drain the Harrisburg swamp…. Everyone that owns property can’t afford their property anymore because of the state government teachers unions bar association and various unions that wanna keep lining their pockets….We the people are tired of the political jargon going on!!!! How about you public servants work for us for a change… You shouldn’t be able to give yourself a raise… Maybe we will stop paying you taxes period. All you have to do is eliminate the property school tax and raise the sales tax … Then EVERYONE PAYS!!!!

  2. Once again, Dinniman votes like a Republican. If Stack didn’t break the tie vote, this state would have been stuck with another bad policy decision supported by Andy Dinniman, the darling of the Republican Party.

  3. How about restructing the pay, pensions, & health benefits to start. 401k ? medical copays? The Home owner is exhausted , its actually very simple were spending more than whats coming in, Times are changing and, the economy has changed, I am personally tired of paying theses high taxes for others pensions etc!!!!

  4. Public unions live off the taxpayer from the day they’re hired to the day they die. It cost much more taking care of these dependents after they decide they want to retire at the ripe old age of 45.

  5. Sure, blame the teacher unions and while you are at it, blame the PA School Board Association. I doubt that the members of the party in control even listen to these groups. But they do listen to the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and the Chamber does not want this. Ask Gene Barr what he thinks of this bill. Twice in recent memory the Rs controlled the Governorship, Senate and House and could not pass this change. Ask that question instead of blaming unions.

  6. Another smoke and mirrors distraction by GOP Senators led by Joe Scarnati. Work on anything but a compromise on the State Budget. You can’t even vote Scarnati out. His war chest is swollen with money from casino, gas, and oil corporations. He now has moved into somehow appointing a friend to run the Lottery Office in Clearfield County. Scarnati even took the time to make sure all the summer state highway jobs in Elk County where given to kids from Jefferson County. Joe has time for everything but a State Budget. Joe is all about Joe.

  7. “Missed” the vote or deliberately skipped the vote? He was there and then he disappeared. Might be worth a couple of calls and e-mails to try to figure out what his excuse was and then verify it. Methinks it might have been deliberate. Other than a couple of true believers, I think most everyone recognizes that this legislation (if not the underlying concept) was garbage and would throw the state’s finances into disarray. There could be ways to eliminate property taxes, but it would take a lot of complex mechanisms in place to ensure the process goes smoothly and doesn’t result in utter chaos. Anyone who tells you this is simple is either lying or doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I would venture to guess that even most legislators don’t understand how property taxes work in the commonwealth.

  8. Both parties break out the property tax tool every election cycle. It’s shameful that they are booting seniors out of the houses they lived in for years just to coddle the unions. They just don’t care—until elections role around and the voters are conned again. They will never let it go to a referendum because they’ll lose every time. Very shameful on both parties.

  9. I am a democrat. I am also sick and tired of our Democratic Governors bowing down to the teachers union !!!!! I work for a community college, I belong to the PSEA . I’m telling you, funding education on the backs of home owners is wrong !!!!! Very SIMPLE, if the governor thinks this is what the TAX PAYERS want, then but it on the ballot for referendum vote and LISTEN to what the people really want . PROPERTY TAX ELIMINATION !!!!!!!!!

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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