Raising taxes in an election year — even if a revenue-neutral change is the goal — is never easy.
But Butler County Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has indicated he is planning to take a shot at eliminating property taxes in Pennsylvania.
To do so, he intends to increase the personal income tax to nearly 5 percent and the state sales tax to 9 percent.
Metcalfe said in a memo last week that he would like to eliminate property taxes over six years, with a 33 percent reduction in school property taxes in the first year alone.
His proposal, which is circulating for co-sponsorship, calls for increasing the PIT to 4.6 percent from 3.1 percent and the sales tax to 9 percent from 6 percent in the first three years. In years four through six, he is counting on municipalities to increase earned income tax and/or PIT.
Any general fund surpluses, minus the amount that must be deposited in the budget stabilization reserve fund, would be used to reduce the PIT rate, Metcalfe said.
“The result of this legislation would be a revenue neutral change,” he said. “Neither state nor local government would collect more or less tax money than what was previously required to fund government services, particularly public education.”
The entire state House is on the gubernatorial election ballot this year.