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By Tony Romeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A state senator says as of now, he has the votes to get a bill through the Senate that would eliminate school property taxes by raising income taxes and sales taxes.

The state legislature has struggled with how to eliminate school property taxes for decades. But now, says Republican Senator David Argall, “We’ve never been this close before.”

What’s different this time?

“I think a lot of it is grassroots,” Argall says. “It’s been approved by over 80 different taxpayer groups. And so they actually wrote the bill.”

That bill would increase the sales tax rate a percentage point and eliminate some exemptions. It would also increase the personal income tax from 3.07 to 4.34 percent.

Argall claims he’s got enough co-sponsors to pass the bill in the Senate, but a spokesman for the Senate majority leader says often, not all co-sponsors end up supporting major legislation when it actually comes up for a vote, which was the case when the House voted down a similar property tax elimination proposal earlier in this session.

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