– Reps. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny) and Natalie Mihalek (R-Allegheny/Washington) voted “no” on legislation that would unfairly shift property tax burdens to those in the suburbs. House Bill 788
would specifically allow only the City of Pittsburgh to exempt longtime homeowners from property tax increases should a countywide assessment occur.
“As a taxpayer, I am in favor of property tax relief, especially for those on a fixed income,” said Gaydos. “However, property tax relief should be for all and not for just a few. This legislation will absolutely unfairly affect the surrounding suburban areas and the residents there, including longtime homeowners in those communities.”
Mihalek added, “I am fully in favor of property tax relief, but it is not responsible to pit one community against another. This legislation could effectively result in rising property taxes not only for the approximately 50,000 homeowners in the City of Pittsburgh who do not qualify for this proposed exemption, but it would unfairly shift the tax burden to those living in the suburbs.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 38% of school funding comes from the state, while 43% comes from local property taxes—ranking Pennsylvania 45th nationally of states with the most inequitable school funding formula. The Education Law Center labeled Pennsylvania as one of the worst states at distributing this revenue across high-poverty and low-poverty districts.
While Gaydos and Mihalek agree that funding schools is a priority, they feel the General Assembly can no longer kick the can down the road with small and unfair measures. They must work on bipartisan solutions to solve the property tax issue for everyone and not just for a few.
The legislation passed the House of Representatives by a 103-100 vote and now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Valerie Gaydos
44th Legislative District
Representative Natalie Mihalek
40th Legislative District
Media Contact: Rick Leiner