Let’s Make It Easier To Rent The Home You Buy — The New Jersey property tax is a burning issue in that state’s gubernatorial race with incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine and Republican challenger both agreeing it is a big problem.
The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that The Garden State has the highest in the nation albeit TaxFoundation.org says that Texas held the crown in 2008 — note Texas does not have an income tax.
So that brings us to Pennsylvania which is 11th highest in property taxes according TaxFoundation. The property tax is the cruelest tax. You lose your income you don’t pay an income tax nor would any food or clothing you buy be taxed. The government still, however, wants you to cough up something for your home.
The sad thing is that Pennsylvanians could see a nice cut in their property tax burden with some simple changes to the law, and even though they would be spending less money they could see services improve.
The first and most profound reform would be to prohibit teacher strikes. Pennsylvania is one of only 13 states to allow teacher strikes. Without this heavy club you would not see 4-5 percent annual raises for PSEA members — who include guidance counselors and nurses along with classroom teachers.
Next would be to repeal the prevailing wage law. The law, passed in 1961, requires that contractors pay wages set by the state Department of Labor and Industry for all public works projects. The Commonwealth Foundation estimates that labor costs for public sector construction jobs in Pennsylvania average 37 percent higher than what the private sector pays for the same work because of this. Nine states have repealed their prevailing wage laws while nine others never had any.
Finally, we repeal the The Pennsylvania Separations Act of 1913, an archaic but expensive law that requires that public entities solicit separate bids and award separate contracts for electrical, heating, ventilating and plumbing work undertaken as part of public construction projects in which costs exceed $4,000.
Bet next year’s tax bill that if these reforms were passed the cost of owning your home — or would that be renting the home you buy? — go down.