York County's entire state House delegation voted Wednesday to approve a constitutional amendment that would give municipalities the power to exclude homesteads from property taxes.
Current rules allow for only 50 percent of the median assessment of a farmstead or homestead to be excluded. A homeowner's primary place of residence is considered a homestead.
The bill paves the way for future reform legislation that could target relief at those who are most opposed to property taxes, said Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township.
"This places the focus on just primary residents," he said. "In the business community, we don't hear anything about property taxes. Their main concern is regulation and the business tax structure."
But in order for the bill to become law, it must pass in two consecutive sessions of the state Legislature and must get voter approval in a referendum.
If the amendment passes, future property relief provided under legislation such as a bill Grove has proposed can be directed solely at homestead or farmstead relief, he said.
Rep. Ron Miller, R-Jacobus, said the amendment is "part of the puzzle" for legislators to "fight for appropriate funding for growing school districts.
"There are all kinds of potential legislation," he said. "This only fixes the problem where the constitution doesn't allow total exemption."
The bill passed the House 182-0.
- Reach Christina Kauffman at 505-5436, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter at @YDYorkCounty.