Yes, we know -- there are a lot of energized, vocal supporters of House Bill 76, which calls for the statewide elimination of school property taxes in favor of an expanded sales tax.

But the bill doesn't seem to have enough support in the Legislature, where some lawmakers are perfectly happy with an unfair system that happens to favor their constituents.

Majority Whip Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township, predicted it might be 10 or 20 years before a bill like HB76 has enough votes to become law.

We don't think property owners in areas like York County, with growing school districts and sky-high tax rates, should have to wait decades for relief.

Even supporters of HB 76 in the House Finance Committee think some relief is better than none.

Monday, they helped forward four other property tax reform bills to the full House.

One of those -- House Bill 1189, known as the Optional Property Tax Elimination Act -- was authored by state Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township.

It allows each school board to vote on whether to shift up to 100 percent of property taxes to an additional earned income tax and either a mercantile tax or business privilege tax.

Personal income taxes, which include money earned on investments, could be added if school districts wanted to take the issue to voter referendum.

Districts that eliminate property taxes would not be able to raise the other taxes any more than would be allowed under the system that currently governs property tax increases.


Is this the perfect solution?

Maybe not.

But as state Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich, a co-sponsor of HB 76, said, at least Grove's bill will get the discussions moving in the right direction.

And that's progress.

Before we throw our full support behind HB 1189, though, we want to hear the debate in the full House and see a full vetting of it by the state's Independent Fiscal Office.

For instance, we'd like to make sure businesses don't benefit at the expenses of residential property owners -- a flaw in a previous attempt by Grove that caused him to pull the bill back.