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Politics & Government

Push to End Pennsylvania Property Taxes Gets New Life

State lawmakers will make another attempt to get rid of property taxes statewide.

A Republican-proposed bill would do away with the real estate taxes by funding school districts through sales and income taxes. The income and sales tax rates would be increased by about one percent each, an arrangement that Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks County.) said is a more fair way to fund schools.

"When we move away from a school property tax, we broaden the base of taxpayers," Cox said. "One of the basic concepts of tax law is the broader the tax base, the more fair it is and the more stable it is."

Cox acknowledges that getting rid of property taxes is not a new idea. "What we have here today is not the same idea reintroduced with a different bill number, with a different tagline," he said. "It's an idea, we feel, whose time has come."

Cox says his bill has a bipartisan group of more than 50 co-sponsors in the House. A similar bill is slated for introduction in the state Senate as well.

The proposals are the latest in a long line of calls to end property taxes, dating back decades.