Friday, March 7, 2008

State penny tax still in committee

The House Ways and Means Committee is considering a number of amendments to HF 2066, a controversial bill that would eliminate the local option sales tax and replace it with a statewide penny tax earmarked for school infrastructure or property tax relief. Since it involves tax policy, the measure is exempt from funnel deadlines and could remain alive for the remainder of the session.

While the ISEA supports the concept of a penny tax, we strongly oppose HF 2066 as it is currently written because it doesn't give local school districts the spending flexibility they need to meet student needs. The ISEA believes that in addition to providing property tax relief and repairing school buildings, districts should also be able to use the tax revenue to pay for program offerings like preschool, foreign language, advanced math and science, and career preparation courses to name a few. Under the current bill, however, providing local property tax relief is clearly the focus. Click here to read a statement by ISEA President Linda Nelson.