Encouraging signs

JUNE 4, 2015 -- Leaders of the Pennsylvania State Land Tax Fairness Coalition were back in Harrisburg this week, continuing a series of face-to-face meetings with members of the Senate and House of Representatives. Cameron County Commissioner Phil Jones (shown) and Potter County Commissioner Paul Heimel report that the results of their conversations were encouraging.

They impressed upon the lawmakers the inequities that rural Pennsylvania property owners are suffering as a result of a high proportion of land being tax-exempt due to state ownership. Several of the members who met with the coalition leaders expressed their support for legislation that would address the issue through an increase in the state’s annual payments in lieu of taxes to school districts, municipalities and counties. Support was not as strong for the proposal to share a portion of revenue derived from shale gas production and timber sales with the same three government bodies.