The Commonwealth’s system of local taxation must produce stable revenues and promote uniformity, and consistency in its application and treatment of employers. The Pennsylvania Chamber supports local tax policy that promotes a competitive business climate and that adapts with the ever-evolving dynamics of the modern workplace, accommodating trends like remote working. Efforts at the state level should also encourage local taxing authorities to continually pursue these objectives. The mosaic of local governing bodies, which include counties, municipalities, and school districts, and the vast ways and degrees each tax business underscores the need for reform. Short of comprehensive local government consolidations, gross receipts, and the various nuisance taxes should give way to a simpler, more predictable tax base modeled after the state income tax base.
Counties address the assessment of property values in a variety of ways. The PA Chamber supports assessment reform that provides clear, consistent, and standardized assessment standards, including periodic, mandatory reassessment. One particular area of concern is the trend of some local taxing authorities evading the prohibition on spot property assessments by simply filing appeals. This practice often targets businesses which can experience unpredictable property tax increases as a result. The PA Chamber supports prohibiting spot appeals except under specific, legitimate circumstances.
High property taxes can impede employer growth and the PA Chamber supports efforts to reduce property taxes by addressing cost-drivers, and placing reasonable limits on local governments’ ability to create, expand or raise taxes or fees.