Property tax at top of hate list in Pennsylvania
Property Tax Needs Reform
Here are a few excerpts from a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, reporting on people's opinions about taxes. Unfortunately, the poll did not ask people about more modern, sensible taxes such as levies against pollution, taxes against sprawl, site value tax, etc. Instead, the poll focused only on obsolete, unfair taxes.
by Anthony R. WoodA new poll documents something that most property owners and politicians have long known: Pennsylvanians hate the property tax.
The oft-maligned federal income tax finished a far-distant second in a survey of least-liked levies in the Keystone State, according to the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which released its findings yesterday.
Among the 1,176 potential voters surveyed by the Connecticut institute, 56 percent said that the property tax issue would be "extremely important" in determining whether they voted for Ed Rendell, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, or Mike Fisher, his Republican opponent. By 40 percent to 30 percent, they said that Rendell was better able to deal with the issue than Fisher.
The respondents expressed little faith in the state legislature to resolve problems with the tax. Surveys have documented that the assessments on which taxes are based are often inaccurate. However, the potential voters, polled July 16 to 22, were deeply divided over what to do about the situation.
Other revenues would have to replace any property tax cuts, but by 62 percent to 32 percent, those surveyed opposed raising the Jim Crow sales tax. By 57 percent to 33 percent, they opposed raising the state income tax.
In the Quinnipiac survey, the real estate tax beat the federal income tax by 53 percent to 16 percent as the least liked. Clay Richards, the Connecticut institute's assistant director, said that he was taken aback by the level of passion against the property tax. He said that nationwide surveys done in the 1990s showed voters almost evenly split in their loathing of property and federal income taxes. The survey has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Also read Dr. Nicolaus Tideman on Property Tax Options for Philadelphia
Try the Property Tax Shift
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