Pa. House Dems fail to slow charity-tax amendment

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Minority Democrats in the state House of Representatives failed to slow a constitutional amendment at the center of a power struggle between the legislative and judicial branches.

Republicans on Tuesday defended the plan to let lawmakers decide which institutions qualify as “purely public charities” that are exempt from local taxes — including hospitals, social service agencies, universities and churches. Democrats say the bill is being rushed and unsuccessfully offered amendments to limit the impact on local governments.

A 2012 state Supreme Court ruling limited lawmakers’ power to broaden the definition of tax-exempt charities and said the courts hold that constitutional responsibility.

Final House approval could come as early as Wednesday. If approved in two sessions of the Legislature, the proposal could be sent out to a statewide referendum in 2015.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

blog comments powered by Disqus