State Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin County, was quick to give credit to Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, for getting his property tax reform bill through the House on Wednesday.
"I give Seth a lot of credit tackling a complicated and controversial issue," said Teplitz, whose district also includes parts of York County.
The House voted 149-46 to pass the Optional Property Tax Elimination Act, which gives school districts across the state the option to eliminate property taxes and replace them with earned income and other taxes.
With the work of the House finished, the bill heads next to the Senate for a vote before it could land on Gov. Tom Corbett's desk for his signature.
Though open to tax reform, Teplitz, who hadn't yet read the bill in its entirety, was apprehensive about giving the bill his vote.
"I think its fair to say I'm open minded, but I have concerns about any type of tax shift," he said. "I'm not really sure that's progress or not."
At issue is the prospect of shifting property taxes to an additional earned income tax, mercantile tax or business privilege tax to reduce the property tax rate by up to 100 percent.
"It seems to me all you're doing is creating a new set of winners and losers," Teplitz said.
Less tax dependence: Sen. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster, said the passage of Grove's bill represents "a lot of good work" done by the representative and the House.
"It will certainly give some momentum to tax reform debate in the Senate," Smucker said.
Smucker said he supports the idea of eliminating or reducing school districts' reliance on property tax revenue.
Smucker said there are not similar bills in the Senate. But, he said, there are other proposals for property tax reform.
"There's so many different ways it could happen," Smucker said.
Sen. Patricia Vance, R-Cumberland, said she also appreciates that Grove worked to write a bill that is different from what has been proposed in the past.
Vance said her first thought was to see if having different tax procedures for every school district would complicate the process for business owners.
But Vance said she did not have a chance to read the bill in depth yet, and would wait until then to draw formal conclusions.
-Nikelle Snader contributed to this report. Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.