Ballot Question May Cause Confusion - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Ballot Question May Cause Confusion

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For most people voting in an election is routine, but this year Erie voters might give a double take at their ballot.

That's because there is a question on it, that you may not fully understand.

It asks, "Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to permit the general assembly to enact legislation authorizing local taxing authorities."

Erie News News asked Erie County Clerk Doug Smith to break the question down for us and give us an explanation.

He says this is basically a baby step to move school funding away from property and real estate taxes. 

Currently only property owners have to pay school taxes, and this is how it has always been. 

Smith says this law would allow a chance to change that, and also allow schools to acquire those funds a different way. 

Those alternatives would be either increasing sales tax, income tax or gaming properties.

This could increase income taxes from about three percent to just under five percent.

It could also increase sales tax from six to seven percent. 

Overall, if the referendum passes it could change the whole system of how schools receive funding. 

This would need to get passed twice, because it is a change in the statewide constitution. So this ballot question is the first step.

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