House Democrats killed what had been advertised as the most practical plan to eliminate the much-hated school property tax in Pennsylvania.
The vote for the tax elimination amendment introduced by Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-Berks, was 47 yeas and 148 nays. Only 10 House Democrats supported the plan, also known as House Bill 1275.
"It's very disappointing," said state Rep. Tom Quigley, R-Montgomery, a longtime supporter of Rohrer's plan. "This is a major setback for the property tax elimination concept."
HB 1275, or the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007, had the support of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations, an organization that represents 26 citizen taxpayer groups across the state.
The so-called Rohrer amendment was offered as part of the House debate on House Bill 1600, a tax-shift plan that would increase the state sales tax and the income tax in return for a reduction in property taxes.
Here's how legislators from Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties voted Tuesday on the amendment.
Voting to eliminate school property taxes:
BERKS COUNTY: David Argall, R-124, Tom Caltagirone, D-127; Jim Cox, R-129, David Kessler, D-130, Carl Mantz, R-187, Doug Reichley, R-134, Sam Rohrer, R-128, Dante Santoni, D-126, Tim Seip, D-125.
CHESTER COUNTY: Stephen Barrar, R-160, Tim Hennessey, R-126, Art Hershey, R-13, Curt Schroder, R-155.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY: Robert Godshall, R-53, Bob Mensch, R-147, Jay Moyer, R-70; Tom Quigley, R-146, Mike Vereb, R-150.
Voting against the plan to eliminate school property taxes:
BERKS COUNTY: None.
BUCKS COUNTY: Paul I. Clymer, R-145, Gene DiGirolamo, R-18, John T. Galloway, D-140, Chris King, D-142, Anthony J. Melio, D-141, Bernie O'Neill, R-29, Scott A. Petri, R-178, Marguerite Quinn, R-143, David Steil, R-31, Katharine M. Watson, R-144.
CHESTER COUNTY: Thomas Killion, R-168; Barbara McIlvanine Smith, D-156, Duane Milne, R-167; Chris Ross, R-158; Carole Rubley, R-157.
DELAWARE COUNTY: William F. Adolph Jr., R-165, Mario J. Civera Jr., R-26, Robert C. Donatucci, D-185, Thomas H. Killion, R-168, Thaddeus Kirkland, D-9, Bryan R. Lentz, D-161, Nicholas A. Micozzie, R-163, Ron Raymond, R-162, Greg Vitali, D-166, Ronald G. Waters, D-191.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY: Lawrence Curry, D-154, Michael Gerber, D-148, Kate Harper, R-61, George Kenney Jr. , R-170, Daylin Leach, D-149, Kathy Manderino, D-194, Thomas Murt, R-152, Josh Shapiro, D-153, Rick Taylor, D-151.