HARRISBURG – In an attempt to broaden property tax relief for all Pennsylvanians, Rep. Tom Jones (R-Lancaster/Lebanon) offered an amendment to protect first-time home buyers from added financial burden.
During House debate on a measure that would shift property tax provisions within Allegheny County (House Bill 788
), Jones introduced an amendment that would protect property owners from related tax hikes in every county in Pennsylvania.
“Some of my fellow Republican legislators were offering amendments to help alleviate property tax burdens for all Pennsylvanians, instead of focusing efforts only on Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh,” Jones said. “Had their efforts garnered House passage, my amendment would have served as significant protection from tax burden shifts that would impact anyone not qualifying as a ‘long-time owner occupant’. Young families, first-time homebuyers, and others would get hit hard from this measure and I wanted to ensure that this protection would cover the entire Commonwealth.”
Jones’ amendment was voted down along party lines (101-102). Other amendments offered to widen property tax relief to every Pennsylvania county suffered the same fate.
“As a member of the Housing and Community Development committee, I saw the potential impact that young homebuyers would face when this bill was introduced,” Jones said. “I knew a corrective action should be offered.”
“Property tax relief is something I hear about from my constituents every single day,” the freshman lawmaker noted. “We must consider true relief for all areas in Pennsylvania, not just special circumstances that would bring unintended consequences.”