Republican legislators want to let some Iowa school districts raise local property taxes to make up for budget shortfalls. General state aid to schools is distributed on a per pupil basis. That means the 115 Iowa school districts which have fewer students will get less state support in the coming academic year. Last year, the legislature sent extra state money to schools — in the form of a “budget guarantee” — to ensure school budgets weren’t any lower than the previous year. But this year, the legislature won’t be sending any EXTRA state money. The G-O-P plans to pass a bill letting local districts decide whether to make up the shortfall by raising local property taxes. If all 115 districts took the option, property taxes would go up about seven million dollars, statewide. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says the House will debate the issue sometime in the next two weeks.Rants says the proposal forces local residents to make a decision about their school’s future.House Democrat Leader David Schrader of Monroe says the state should provide the extra money from income and sales taxes rather than pass the buck to local property owners.
You are here: / / Legislators explore ways to help school districts increase funds