Several media outlets are reporting on state Rep. Jim Cox (R-129th District – Berks County) and his HB 1776 – the "Property Tax Independence Act."
Hundreds of supporters of the proposed bill descended on Harrisburg last Monday to rally "for change to keep the American dream alive across the commonwealth," attendees told WFMZ TV in Allentown.
Cox recently visited The Times Herald to talk about the bill which he says will raise $5 billion by increasing the earned income tax from 3.07% to 4% and the state sales tax to 7%. He said the state would bring in an additional $4.6 billion by adding new taxes on food, clothing, TV and air transportation. Pennsylvania allocated over $10 billion for education in the 2010-2011 budget.
"We’re well on our way [to] the full replacement of the school property taxes," Cox told Herald editor Stan Huskey. "We’re not eliminating the revenue; we’re just finding a better way to do it."
Cox says the bill is designed to level the playing field for Pennsylvania residents when it comes to paying for public education. According to Cox, of the 12 million Pennsylvanians, only about four million own property. Those four million are paying for public education that benefits all of us.
"All this sales and income tax does is spread it out among 12 million people, making it a much more fair way to tax people," Cox told the Herald. "Everybody in Pennsylvania benefits from the education system, why should one-third of the population be footing the bill for the entire state?"
The bill, introduced last month, is scheduled to be read publicly for the first time at a finance committee hearing in Harrisburg on May 21.
You can download a FAQ about HB 1776 provided by state Rep. Jim Cox in our PDF section and hear Cox explain it himself in the video in our media section.