Members of the House Taxation committee needed more time to mull over the potential effects of a bill that would equalize certain forms of other revenue received by school districts.
The committee opted to defer action on House Bill 1205 after a close vote (7-8) to kill the bill failed. House Taxation is scheduled to convene again on Tuesday, February 11, but HB 1205 is not on the agenda at this time.
The bill would create the school district tax revenue fund, which would receive dollars from revenue collected by school districts from the bank franchise tax, wind energy tax, and gross receipts from telephone companies and electric co-ops.
HB 1205 states that any dollars collected from the taxes that exceed the amount received by districts in 2014 would be deposited into the school district tax revenue fund. That stipulation would remain in effect until 2025, amended by the committee from the original date of 2020, after that all revenue collected from the four taxes would be deposited into the fund.
ASBSD is opposed to the bill.
“Other income should be left with that district,” ASBSD Lobbyist Dick Tieszen testified.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dan Dryden, said he has looked at changing the distribution of other revenue for many years, but change has been unsuccessful because it creates “winners and losers.”
Rep. Dryden said he knew ASBSD would be in a “tough predicament” with the bill and to avoid conflict he added a window to “hold districts harmless” before all other revenue was deposited into the school district tax revenue fund. Rep. Dryden said the bill required legislators to think about how they wanted to fund schools.
“How should K-12 be funded? Should we fund it statewide?” Rep. Dryden asked. “I think we have to philosophically decide.”
ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany told the committee that member districts voted unanimously at the association’s Delegate Assembly to keep other revenue in its current state prescribed by statute.
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