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As clock ticks, Pennsylvania lawmakers devise plan to revive property tax elimination bill

One year and five months — that’s how long bipartisan legislation that would eliminate school property taxes in Pennsylvania has been stuck in the Pennsylvania Senate’s Finance Committee.

“It seems like we’ve been pushing it for years,” said state Sen. David Argall, the Schuylkill County Republican who is one of the main sponsors of Senate Bill 76.

Argall and other advocates of the bill earlier this summer acknowledged it doesn’t have the support to emerge from committee. That’s kept it from a full floor vote. Yet Argall’s still confident property tax elimination advocates can claim victory this year, even if the bill is never voted out of committee.

There’s a simple strategy taking shape — just amend the legislation into another bill that’s already ready for a floor vote. Talks with chamber leaders have already identified possible vehicles, Argall said.

“I believe we have the votes we need on the floor,” Argall said.

The legislation would eliminate school property taxes and replace the revenue with a higher sales and personal income tax. The sales tax would also be expanded to apply to more goods and services.

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