Senate narrowly rejects measure to kill school property tax

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Pennsylvania Senate is narrowly rejecting a measure to eliminate school property taxes statewide by replacing the money with increases in state tax rates on sales and income.

Many more items and services currently exempt from the state sales tax also would have been taxed, including daycare, movie tickets and trash pickup.

The preliminary vote Monday night tied 24-24, and was broken by Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, who voted against it.

The bill would have imposed a multibillion-dollar state takeover of public school funding from school boards and a monumental change in state taxation. The Legislature’s Independent Fiscal Office projects total school property tax collections, including existing state rebates, will exceed $14 billion next year.

Gov. Tom Wolf says he opposes it. A similar bill failed badly in the House two years ago.

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