Pennsylvania’s flat-rate personal income tax impacts hardest on middle income taxpayers and the State’s sales tax impacts hardest on low-income families. Neither tax is a fair tax by any means.
However, local and county government and local school district taxation is even more inequitable. As an example, a per capita tax is the same amount for a stay-at-home spouse as it is for a millionaire. The earned -income tax rate is the same for workers, regardless of income, and occupational taxes may not have any relationship to ability to pay whatsoever.
The detested real estate tax is far from being a fair tax; but even worse, it is expensive to collect. Real estate taxes also affect renters and businesses, but it impacts hardest on seniors and others living on a fixed income, especially if they lack budgeting skills.
Additionally, there are many properties that are tax exempt, and this increases property tax bills for other taxpayers. So what’s the answer?
Like it or not, Pennsylvania needs to amend its constitution to permit all levels of government and local school districts to levy a graduated income tax, without deductions or exemptions, that can be adjusted periodically to avoid budget deficits or surpluses.
Eliminating unfair taxation in Pennsylvania can only be accomplished by tax revision.
David L. Faust