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Arizona House Votes To Eliminate Pawn Store Transaction Fee

The state House voted Wednesday to block cities and counties from imposing fees on pawn transactions.

The measure is being pushed by House Speaker and congressional candidate David Gowan. While he was not on the floor for Wednesday's debate, Majority Whip David Livingston said it reflects Gowan's belief that the fee amounts to a tax and should be eliminated.

But Rep. Debbie McCune Davis said she sees something more problematic in the measure. She said the cities that levy the fees use the proceeds to keep an eye on pawn shops.

"The police departments have these systems in place whereby they identify stolen property and return it to their rightful owners. It's a very important system that's in place that would be removed."

She said the Phoenix police department, which imposes a $3.50 fee per transaction, managed to recover $760,000 worth of stolen property last year.