Education A State Capitals Roundup

Court Holds Deadline Firm for Pa. Property-Tax Measure

By Catherine Gewertz — May 10, 2005 1 min read

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that school boards may not have additional time to decide whether to accept a share of state gambling proceeds in exchange for limiting their taxing authority.

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association said it plans to appeal the Commonwealth Court judge’s April 28 decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

In a lawsuit filed last month, the association sought a court order extending by one year the May 30 deadline by which districts must decide whether to “opt in” to Act 72. Judge Gardner Colins denied that request.

Fewer than a dozen of Pennsylvania’s 501 districts have decided to opt in. Many believe the law’s effects are unclear. The gaming funds, along with a hike in the local earned income tax, would be used to reduce property taxes. (“Pennsylvania Governor, School Boards in Taxing Tussle,” April 13, 2005.)

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