Senate begins debate on measure to kill Pa. school property tax

    The Pennsylvania Senate is beginning debate on 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 be taxed, including day care, movie tickets and trash pickup.

    If the preliminary vote on Monday is successful, another vote would be required for Senate passage.

    The bill would impose 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 is opposed to it. A similar bill failed badly in the House two years ago.

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