When Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett delivers his state budget address March 8, looming school-aid cuts could bring residents higher property-tax bills. In Philadelphia, where the School District faces a dramatic budgetary shortfall, an increase would add to the new 9.9 percent property-tax hike that city officials cited as a necessity to balance the budget.
John Featherman, a realtor who teaches at Temple’s Real Estate Institute, said he’s heard concerns about a property-tax hike while gathering signatures for his mayoral run. In a theoretical sense, they serve as a disincentive for potential buyers. He expects school-funding cuts to result in a “more politically palatable” tax hike to stave off cuts to essential programs.
Viewing it through a different prism was state Sen. Vincent Hughes, who said state cuts “put pressure on local school districts and communities. It’s not just a Philadelphia issue. It’s a universal issue. People are extremely concerned.”