Governor Chet Culver signed the bill into law which replaces the local option sales taxes which have been approved in all of Iowa’s 99 counties with a statewide one percent sales tax. The money will be distributed on a per pupil basis to schools in each county.
Culver signed the bill today at a Sioux City elementary school, and says it will help improve education statewide. Culver says the bill provides “hundreds of millions of dollars” in additional funding for schools and property tax relief for homeowners over the next five years.
Culver says the formula for distributing the money will ensure that each school districts will receive an extra $200 per pupil on average for school modernization and construction. “We don’t think it should matter if you live in Sioux City or Des Moines, or McGregor, Iowa, or Denison, we’re glad that you live all over our state,” Culver said, “and it’s our job to make sure that you have schools like this, and great teachers, no matter where you live in Iowa.”
The new law says that any unused funds, as well as tax collected on goods purchased out of state and shipped to Iowa, be used to fund the “Property Tax Equity and Relief Fund.” Culver’s office says it’s projected that this law will provide 32-million dollars per year for property tax relief. To learn more about the financial impact of the new law on all Iowa school districts visit the bill’s information page on the Iowa Legislature’s website.