BOSTON – The Massachusetts House voted Monday to scrap a proposal that critics said could have raised property taxes by as much as $500 million.

The measure, which would have let cities and towns raise taxes above the limit set by Proposition 2 1/2 to pay property tax abatements, came under fire from Gov. Deval Patrick, who said he would not sign the bill if the measure was included.

Patrick’s top opponents in the race for governor, Republican Charles Baker and independent Timothy Cahill, also said they were against the plan.

Seth Gitell, a spokesman for House Speaker Robert DeLeo, said leaders decided to eliminate the provision from a municipal relief bill.

Prop 2 1/2 was approved by voters in 1980 and radically changed the way cities and towns raise taxes to pay for municipal services.

It limits communities from raising property taxes by more than 2.5 percent a year without approval from voters.

Barbara Anderson, whose group Citizens for Limited Taxation helped push through Prop 2 1/2, said lawmakers were trying to slip through the measure.

“They didn’t think anyone would notice,” Anderson said Monday at a press conference with Baker on the Statehouse steps. “We think we’ve gotten them to back down.”


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