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Renewed Effort To Replace School Property Taxes Rejected

(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Pennsylvania House Tuesday night shot down the latest effort to pass legislation that would eliminate school property taxes by increasing sales and personal income taxes.

It was the first time since the middle of the last decade that the state House spent hours debating legislation to completely replace school property taxes statewide with a combination of more sales and income taxes.

The effort was led by Berks County Republican Jim Cox:

“No tax should have the power to leave you homeless,” he said.

But just as before, opponents – like another Republican, Bucks County’s Scott Petri – balked at the idea of shifting the tax burden.

“Do you care that your food, clothing would be taxed? How about a clergy honorarium? You’re doing a funeral or a wedding – that’s taxable,” Petri said.

The House defeated the statewide proposal by a vote of 138 to 59. It was offered as an amendment to a bill, still awaiting a final vote, that would give local school districts the option of reducing property taxes by shifting to other taxes.

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