Support is growing for a statewide one-cent sales tax to fund Iowa schools. Leaders of Iowa’s largest schools are joining the move. Lane Plugge is chair of the urban education network. The state’s school infrastructure is aging, in need of improvements, and besides maintenance that’s been put off too long already, some need new buildings. Even though most urban districts already have a one-cent sales tax, they think all schools could benefit from a statewide tax. Plugge’s also superintendent of the Iowa City Community schools, which do not have the local-option tax. G-O-P House Majority leader Christopher Rants is well aware that republicans didn’t see enough votes to pass a tax increase last fall.He thinks sentiment to do it is growing, and local districts are putting pressure on their lawmakers now to pass the tax. Rants doesn’t support a statewide sales tax for schools himself, but says he won’t prevent the measure coming up for debate.Everybody has a different motive for supporting it, and deciding how the money’s spent could make the coalition fall apart.When the proposal gets to the house floor, he says some people will have ideas for spending the tax, but if they try to use it for something besides schools, he’ll pull the plug. If the measure passes, it would have no effect on counties that already have a one-cent tax for schools.
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