Key Topics – Property Taxes

On September 16th, the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation that proposes to eliminate school property taxes by expanding and increasing the state sales and use tax, increasing the state personal income tax, and imposing a hotel occupancy tax. Some advocacy groups believe that this legislation is a viable solution to the ongoing problem of escalating property taxes; other groups believe that the legislation is simply tax shifting without addressing the causes of school property tax increases. This legislation awaits consideration before the entire state Senate.

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If you have questions about the budget or any introduced legislation, please contact Michelle Vezzani at MVezzani@cohenlaw.com or the public affairs professional with whom you work.

Cohen & Grigsby Public Affairs is a specialized practice group made up of public affairs professionals and attorneys who know how to navigate where government and business intersect. Members have served at all levels of local and state government and are from all sides of the political spectrum.

New Legislation Introduced – August 2014

Transportation

  • Rep. Mustio (R-Allegheny County) sponsored a bill that would require transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to be licensed by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) and to meet certain insurance and safety requirements.  (House Bill 2453).  Rep. DeLuca (D-Allegheny County) sponsored a similar bill.  (House Bill 2446).
  • Rep. Killion (R-Delaware County) sponsored a bill that would place certain limitations on transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, including, but not limited to, a requirement to obtain commercial liability insurance as primary coverage, obtain a certificate of public convenience, and file criminal background checks on the drivers of these companies.  (House Bill 2445).

Immigration

  • Rep. Metcalfe (R-Butler County) sponsored a bill that would require all employers in the state, including governmental employers, to enroll in the Employment Eligibility Verification Program (E-Verify); it would also allow municipal governments to adopt ordinances denying business licenses to employers of unauthorized aliens.  (House Bill 2430).

Municipal (Vacant & Blighted Property)

  • Rep. Day (R-Berks County) will be introducing legislation that would establish the Vacant Property Registration and Assessment Act, which is intended to address problems associated with vacant and blighted property by shifting the responsibility of helping to solve those problems on owners of properties that are vacant and/or blighted.

Taxation

  • Rep. Thomas (D-Philadelphia County) will be introducing legislation calling upon the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study on transitioning from a flat personal income tax to a graduated personal income tax system.

Economic Development

  • Rep. Benninghoff (R-Centre County) sponsored a bill that would reduce the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) debt ceiling (the outstanding obligations for redevelopment assistance projects) by $50 million increments until the debt ceiling reaches $2.95 billion (on July 1, 2027).  (House Bill 2420).

Rep. Turzai (R-Allegheny County) sponsored a bill that would establish annual spending limits on all project types that come under the Capital Facilities Debt Enabling Act, including redevelopment assistance projects.  (House Bill 2419).

 

If you have questions about the budget or any introduced legislation, please contact Michelle Vezzani at MVezzani@cohenlaw.com or the public affairs professional with whom you work.