As it left the Senate E-12 Budget Division last week, the Senate E-12 Finance bill includes a major proposal aimed at expanding long term maintenance funding to the over 300 school districts that don’t qualify for the Alternative Facilities program.
The E-12 bill would allow districts to levy $200 per pupil in 2017 and $300 and $400 per pupil in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The levy would be on the Adjusted Net Tax Capacity (ANTC) tax base, which includes agricultural production land and Seasonal & Recreational property. This would be the full implementation of the $400 per pupil, by 2019.
However, the proposal amends the equalization factor for this tax base by removing 50 percent of the agricultural production land in a district for purposes of calculating equalization. The intent is to spread equalization dollars to more districts.
The current Senate proposal results from recommendation No. 1 from the MDE Facilities Task Force. Sen. Kevin Dahle (DFL – Northfield) carried SF 76 aimed at implementing this recommendation. The Senate E-12 bill contains a modified version of SF 76.
The proposal needs to survive the Senate Finance committee later this week and then the Senate Tax committee, which will look closer at this proposal before they clear it for the floor. The E-12 bill is expected to be on the Senate on April 29.
Please encourage your legislators to support this proposal. It creates a long-term solution to a nagging funding inequity between two halves of the state’s entire public student body. Opportunities to fix problems such as this are rare in state politics. And the issue isn’t just a rural issue. There are many suburban and exurban districts who support this proposal as well.
Impact on Your School
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