Property tax debate takes the stage in Pennsylvania Capitol


HARRISBURG — The debate over school property taxes is taking the stage in the Pennsylvania Capitol.

School boards, teachers' unions and other organizations are pressuring state officials against further restricting the ability of school boards to raise property taxes.

Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican lawmakers are looking at ways to suppress property tax increases as part of a sprawling budget deal they're negotiating. The deal would impose a 1.25 percentage point-increase in the state sales tax to cut residential property taxes by $1.4 billion, or about 15 percent.

Wolf's office says he opposes eliminating every exemption that currently allows property tax increases to exceed a certain benchmark pegged to inflation. But Senate Republicans say they don't want a permanent sales tax increase and a temporary cut in school property taxes.