Drive to kill school property tax headed back to Legislature

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Debate over school property taxes in Pennsylvania is expected to return to the Legislature in 2017.

Senate supporters say the Nov. 8 election provided the necessary votes to eliminate school property taxes entirely and replace them with other revenue streams.

That would mean shifting about $14 billion in taxes from property owners, including businesses, to Pennsylvania consumers and workers through sales and personal income taxes.

An Associated Press analysis of state data found that more than 70 percent of school property taxes were collected by the wealthiest half of school districts in 2014-15.

One leading plan would increase the income tax rate by 60 percent and hike the state sales tax rate by 17 percent while applying it to more goods and services, such as groceries and basic TV.

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