The Vermont House has advanced legislation that would bring a sharp increase in the statewide school property tax rates.
Wednesday's debate concerned a 5-cent increase in the statewide residential property tax rate, to 94 cents per $100 of a home's value.
The non-residential rate on second homes and commercial properties would go from $1.38 to $1.44 per $100 of the property's value.
Lawmakers blame rising costs, declining student enrollments and declining property values as contributing to the increases.
Some lawmakers labeled Vermont's school funding system broken and in need of major overhaul. Others said rising costs are mainly caused by local spending decisions.
The bill won preliminary approval on a vote of 96-45 . It's up for final House action Thursday before moving to the Senate.
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