We know you may be aware of possible proposed changes to our property taxes. Currently, in the Pennsylvania legislature there is a discussion about property tax reform, although nothing has been officially brought forward in the legislature at this time. However, since there may be a very real chance of a bill being presented we felt it necessary to keep our community members informed of the possibilities so you may make your own decisions for what is best for you and your family. We encourage you to contact your local legislators and share your thoughts and your personal circumstances. To help you, we've provided a tax calculator for you to make a general determination of how the potential changes will affect you. We've also provided contact information for your local state legislators.
We feel you should be aware of a few things that may be confusing.
1) The proposal, although called property tax elimination, is really a property tax reduction. You will still pay your county and municipal taxes as well as school property tax (at a reduced rate) until your district has recouped funds for debt acquired before December 31, 2016. For the average homeowner in the Troy Area School District, this means you will still continue to pay approximately $440.00 in school property taxes.
2) In the proposal you would also begin to pay a higher sales tax (from the current 6% to 7% and this would include food and clothing items not previously taxed) as well as an increase in your Personal (state) Income Tax (from the current 3.07% to 4.95%).
3) Additionally businesses would not be paying property taxes which equates, for Troy, to $575,000.00 with the difference by individuals through the increased sales and income taxes.
From our District's perspective, we have concerns regarding distribution of the newly collected funds, the impact on our funding streams, the inability to be reimbursed for 100% of our taxes assessed (we would only be reimbursed for the percentage collected, not those that are delinquent at the time of funding distribution), and the effect on our ability to maintain current levels of programming or our ability to borrow funds if needed. We are equally concerned about the effect this may have on our local career and technical center, Northern Tier Career Center (NTCC).
We anticipate that most working families will pay more overall taxes with the proposed changes. The elimination or reduction in your property taxes will not offset the increase you will pay in the other taxes. For example, a family with both spouses making a combined income of $75,000.00 with a weekly grocery bill of $125.00 and approximate yearly clothing costs (and other taxed items) of $2,000.00 and a current property tax bill of $1,100.00 will pay $1,345.00 more in total taxes per year. (Please click on the property tax elimination calculator below to see what your savings or additional tax owed might be).