The issue of how to limit property tax increases while properly funding education has been hotly debated in Pennsylvania since the mid-1980s. AARP Pennsylvania undertook this study to explore the opinions of members on the issue of property taxes and to assess their support for or opposition to property tax reduction proposals.
It found that most members owning their homes report their property taxes have increased over the past two years. At least half say paying such taxes is at least a minor problem for them, and more than a quarter consider it to be major. With three-quarters of these members expressing concern about their ability to pay property taxes in the next few years, it is not surprising that a considerable number say they worry that the increases in these taxes will force them to move from their homes in the near future.
Yet, despite their concern about the affordability of property taxes, AARP members in Pennsylvania by and large understand the need to maintain them. While few members would support eliminating such taxes at the cost of losing local services, such as public safety and education, the vast majority believe reductions should be achieved through a balanced approach of cuts in services and increases in other revenue sources.
This report includes telephone survey data from 801 randomly-selected AARP Pennsylvania members collected between October 21 and 27, 2005 by Woelfel Research, Inc. Further information may be obtained from the author, Katherine Bridges, at 202-434-6329. (24 pages)