School property tax alternatives win approval in Pa. House

    A proposal to provide school property tax relief in Pennsylvania passed Wednesday in the state House.

    The measure, which would let school districts reduce or replace property taxes with other levies on earned income and businesses, passed without debate in a legislative body whose members rarely turn down chances for comment.

    It now heads to the Senate, where leaders have been circumspect about their appetite for school property tax reform.

    But Rep. Kerry Benninghoff said he is optimistic about the bill’s chances in the smaller chamber.

    “The reality is, the House has always led on this issue,” said Benninghoff, R-Centre. “We think it’s important, we hear constituents, and we’re trying to get across the goal line bills we think can pass, and garnish 102 votes here.

    “Now they only need to get a quarter of those in the Senate,” he said. “Seems like a pretty easy equation to me.”

    The measure would require 26 votes to pass in the 50-member Senate.

    Its easy in the House passage comes on the heels of a defeated amendment that would have gutted the bill and replaced it with language to completely eliminate school property taxes.

    That approach has been proposed in the Senate and shows 17 co-sponsors.

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