Municipalities Need More Tax Options, Not Fewer

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What on Earth are Senators Blake and Yudichak doing on this bill? Looks like UPMC and other big non-profits don’t like the court ruling giving municipalities more room to challenge their non-profit status, and they are pushing their pet Senators to ram through a Constitutional amendment. Luckily the nature of the state Constitutional amendment process leans against it.

 John Micek explains:

On Wednesday, without holding a public hearing, the Senate Finance Committee is set to vote on a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that supporters say will clarify a section of state law dealing with the taxation of non-profit organizations.

Critics say the legislation sponsored by Finance Committee Chairman Mike Brubaker, R-Lancaster, would make it harder for cash-strapped local governments to challenge the tax-exempt status of non-profit organizations.

The expected vote comes in the midst of a broader legislative debate about the fiscal plight of Pennsylvania’s small cities, many of which have slid into the financial abyss known as Act 47 protection.

So it seems strange for Brubaker’s committee to skip debate on a constitutional amendment that could make it permanently harder for municipal governments with little cash and even fewer taxing options to get huge non-profits such as hospitals and universities to pay their fair share of local taxes.

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