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2090 Linglestown Rd.
Suite 100
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone:  (717) 651-0100
Fax:  (717) 651-0801

260 Market St.
Millersburg, PA 17061
Phone: (717) 692-0833
Fax: (717) 692-7071

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Room 41B East Wing
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PO Box 202104
Harrisburg, PA 17120
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Fax: 717-787-7375


Helm Strongly Supports Property Tax Independence Act

Bill would eliminate school property taxes by increasing

state sales and income levies

HARRISBURG – Because it would provide a commonsense solution to Pennsylvania’s unfair and antiquated method for funding public schools, state Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin) today announced her strong support of the Property Tax Independence Act (House Bill 1776).  Helm joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers at a Capitol news conference to unveil the bill, which she co-sponsored.


“I hear from constituents all the time about how they are struggling to pay their property taxes,” said Helm.  “It’s been a major concern for senior citizens on fixed incomes, but now I’m also hearing from young people who wonder if they can afford to become homeowners.  They worry about losing their homes because of rising property taxes and their inability to pay them down the road.”


House Bill 1776 would replace property tax revenues with increased state sales and income taxes, without reducing the level of state funding appropriated annually to school districts statewide.  Specifically, the bill would enhance collections through the state’s personal income tax by raising it from 3.07 percent to 4 percent. 


It would also generate additional revenue by raising the state sales tax rate from 6 percent to 7 percent and closing loopholes that currently exempt certain goods and services, ranging from dry cleaning and funeral expenses to candy and newspapers.  In addition, the 7 percent sales tax would be applied to clothing and footwear that cost $50 or more, non-prescription drugs and food items that are not part of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.


“This bill already has considerable bipartisan support and I expect that support to grow in the weeks ahead,” said Helm.  “True property tax reform has been talked about for decades in Pennsylvania with very little to show for it.  House Bill 1776 finally provides the kind of relief taxpayers have been requesting by spreading the burden much more fairly.”


The Property Tax Independence Act has been endorsed by the independent Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Association, which represents more than 70 taxpayer groups across the Commonwealth.


Additional information on House Bill 1776, including a complete list of the goods and services that would be subject to the expanded sales tax, can be found at


State Representative Sue Helm

104th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media contact: Andy Briggs


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