Saylor says education funding formula makes property tax reform hard

State Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township, has an op-ed about why property tax reform is hard to achieve in Pennsylvania:

The biggest obstacle to reforming property taxes is the 20-year-old funding “formula” in the state Education Code which states that no school district can receive less state funding than the year before and does not reflect current school district student populations because it is based on census results from 1991.

Because of the formula, counties which have rapidly growing school districts receive far less funding than they need to accommodate their large student populations. In contrast, the formula grants more money than needed to counties with school districts where student populations are declining or static.

So, residents and lawmakers in school districts with flat or even declining growth are happy with the funding formula and their low property taxes and do not want to change. Unfortunately for us, the number of lawmakers happy with the status quo constitutes the majority on the issue of property tax reform.

Saylor is the state House majority whip.

So what do you think? Should property tax reform be a priority? And should the funding formula be changed?

About Ed Mahon

County government and politics reporter at York Daily Record/Sunday News.

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