Greiner: Assembly needs to deliver tax relief to state's residents

State Rep. Keith Greiner (R-Dist. 43)
State Rep. Keith Greiner (R-Dist. 43) | Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives

State Rep. Keith Greiner (R-Dist. 43) said recently that he hopes the House introduces significant real estate tax-reform legislation during this session of the assembly because he said it would have a profoundly positive impact on Pennsylvania's economy.

"Real reform will put money back in the hands of taxpayers, who have been crying out for relief for years," Greiner told Pennsylvania Business Daily in a recent interview. "In Lancaster County, where property taxes have risen disproportionately to the amount of state aid to school districts, this will provide needed relief to ensure our aging population can stay in the homes they’ve come to know over the past 30 years, while providing additional discretionary income to those who need it most."

Other legislation that Greiner plans to introduce this year includes a bill to ensure that state tax laws are streamlined and aligned with federal law, as well as legislation to retool the outdated prevailing wage threshold that has kept local taxes at the municipal and school district level "unnecessarily high."

Greiner is optimistic about the future of the state's economy under Gov. Tom Wolf.

"I am confident that Wolf will be willing to work with the pro-economic-growth agenda of the Republican-controlled General Assembly," Greiner said. "As a businessman, he has firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing members of the business community in Pennsylvania, and that should encourage him to join the discussion about what we can do to create a more business-friendly environment."

However, Greiner expressed concern about Wolf's personal income tax plan.

"I would caution against rushing into any personal income tax increase," Greiner said. "It should only be used as a last resort. The General Assembly must continue to do our due diligence to ensure we have made all cuts possible and reviewed all areas of reform before entertaining any tax increases."

On the topic of Wolf's plan for a 5 percent severance tax on natural gas drilling, Greiner said he would be willing to review a responsible proposal with respect to an extraction tax.

"The details are extremely important," Greiner said. "We want to make sure that we don't kill the number one job-creating industry in the commonwealth. We must also think of the long-term consequences of an extraction tax to ensure that jobs stay in Pennsylvania and that we continue to be competitive with other natural gas-producing states. We already have an impact fee imposed on the industry, and that generates nearly $500,000 for Lancaster County, much (going) toward farmland preservation."

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Rep. Keith Greiner (R-43) 852 Village Rd., PO Box 268 Lampeter, PA - 17537

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