“We’d love to figure out new ways to do what we’re mandated to do. The challenge is that we’re required to do these things and yet we’re not given the tools to pay for them.” – Danene Sorace, Mayor of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Pew released a report this month on the tax limits placed on local governments, “Local Tax Limitations Can Hamper Fiscal Stability of Cities and Counties.”
“When local governments struggle, states pay a price, too—because of lost jobs, reduced tax collections, diminished services, and, in extreme cases, costly state bailouts. To minimize harm during economic downturns and support localities’ financial stability over the long term, states could review any policies that restrict local budget flexibility— including the policy that is the focus of this issue brief: limitations that states impose on local taxation.”
The Sorace Administration continues to advocate for better tools for cities like Lancaster to raise revenue. Relying heavily on property taxes to fund mandated services is both unsustainable and inequitable to city residents across Pennsylvania. Harrisburg must address this to ensure the stability of our cities.