CLEARFIELD – A proposed property tax measure will appear as a referendum question on the November General Election ballot for Pennsylvania voters.
Voters will be asked if the constitution should be amended to permit local government bodies to exclude up to 100 percent of the median assessed value of homestead property from taxation.
At the present time, local government bodies are permitted to exclude up to 50 percent.
“It’s causing some confusion,” said Commissioner Mark B. McCracken, who’s had several people ask him about the referendum question.
McCracken asked if the commissioners should consider trying to clarify the question for Clearfield County voters. Solicitor Kim Kesner said that would be a “judgment” to be made by the board.
According to Kesner, the legislature periodically proposes measures that make people ask “how can you say no to an increased tax exemption?”
However, he said it puts local governments in a more difficult position. He asked how local governments could be expected to balance the books when “things get given away” by the state.
Kesner said he felt it was up to the state legislature to make its referendum question clear in terms of further explanation of its meeting and effects.
McCracken said although there has been a long explanation provided in “plain English,” local citizens were still confused by it. He said voters would only get to see the short ballot question at the polls in November.
McCracken said perhaps the commissioners could at some point reach out to the county’s state officials and try to get some clarification for local voters.
Commissioner John A. Sobel said there had been a previous referendum question about the extension of service for judges, and its wording was also confusing.