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Originally published Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM

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McKenna, Inslee differ on plan for needy schools

A relatively obscure tax plan to equalize the way Washington homeowners pay for public schools got some time under the spotlight this week.

Associated Press

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SEATTLE —

A relatively obscure tax plan to equalize the way Washington homeowners pay for public schools got some time under the spotlight this week.

At a debate in Yakima, the candidates for governor disagreed about the merits of replacing some local property taxes with a statewide education property tax. What is most surprising about the discussion is that this is a Democrat idea that has been adopted by Republican Rob McKenna. And Democrat Jay Inslee has rejected it as a "gimmick."

Essentially the levy swap could take tax money from property rich taxpayers and distributing it to areas with schools in greater need.

The idea started with state Rep. Ross Hunter, who is chair of the House Ways and Means committee. Hunter says it's still a work in progress and not ready for discussion at political debates.

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