May. 01, 2019

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives this week approved legislation, authored by Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence), which would repeal a dormant law that he says could be used as a gateway to implement a state wealth tax on personal property.

The bill was included in the House Republicans’ government reform initiative, which aims to eliminate outdated laws and upgrade to a more efficient government, but Bernstine says repealing the measure goes beyond that.

“Democrats at the federal level are openly proposing to fund their ‘free’ government handouts with a tax on accumulated wealth, including personal property,” Bernstine said. “Repealing this law will not only help us clean up the books as far as archaic and inefficient government laws go; it will help us get rid of a ticking, legislative time bomb for implementation of a similar tax in Pennsylvania.”
Bernstine’s House Bill 1085 repeals a law originally enacted in 1935, which enabled the Commonwealth to assess and collect a state personal property tax.

“Allowing this law to stay dormant on our books is dangerous because it makes it easier for legislators at the state level to resurrect the concept.”

A wealth tax is a levy on the total value of personal assets, including bank deposits, real estate, assets in insurance and pension plans, ownership of unincorporated businesses, financial securities and personal trusts.

House Bill 1085 now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

Representative Aaron Bernstine
10th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Abbey Haslam
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