There are a series of options under legislative consideration to address the facility fallout in Minnesota and improve equity in facility and technology funding for our state’s schools in 2016 – and beyond. Learn more about the Facility Fallout.
The School Facilities Task Force report from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is still viable. Several bills have been introduced and are eligible for the 2016 session that would address school facility construction. They include:
SF 826 (Skoe)/HF 848 (Davids): The 2015 omnibus tax bills, which did not pass, include agricultural bond credits for school bonds; the House bill creates a 50% credit to farmers for school bond taxes paid each year; the Senate bill has a more modest credit program bases on spikes in annual rate increases for these taxes. The Farm Bureau and Farmer’s Union support the House’s 50% credit program.
SF 1995 (Dahle)/HF 2122 (Kiel): would create and Ag2School bond credit program paid with state aid and a general levy on all agricultural production land.
SF 1995/HF 2122 and SF 826/HF 848 were developed in the 2015 session as alternatives to a campaign by farm interests that called for changing school bond elections from the ANTC tax base to the RMV tax base or more commonly referred to as “House-Garage-One Acre.” H-G-1A for school bond elections has moved into the background of legislative consideration as these other initiatives came to fruition. The Farmer Bureau and Farmer’s Union support H-G-1A as their top priority, but are supportive of other relief measures for agricultural land taxes for school bonds.
SF 490 (Dahle)/HF 784 (Norton): would increase Debt Service Equalization to 125% of ANTC
Modeled after recommendation #2 of the MDE Facilities Report
SF 489 (Dahle)/HF 1147 (Norton): would create “enhanced” equalization for districts that consolidate, have tax rates that exceed 30% of ANTC or have faced natural disasters causing more than $500,000 in damages after insurance claims.
Modeled after recommendation #6, parts 2&3 of the MDE Facilities Report
SF 75 (Dahle)/HF 857 (Marquart): would equalize capital projects referendum levy at 125% of ANTC
Modeled after recommendation #3 of the MDE Facilities Report
SF 1141 (A. Johnson)/HF 1642 (Selcer): would create a Facilities Improvement revenue program that would replace the current lease levy program and expand the allowable uses to include remodeling, enhancing safety and security and provide improved learning environments.
Modeled after recommendation #4 of the MDE Facilities Report
SF 45 (Wiger)/HF 854 (Christianson): would increase Operating Capital revenue. The 2015 E-12 bill did increase significantly the state share of the current Operating Capital revenue program.
Modeled after recommendation #5 of the MDE Facilities Report
SF 78 (Wiger)/HF 838 (Christianson): would have increased the school Telecommunications Equity Access aid (TEA) annual funding base by $6 million ($3.75 million to $9.75 million). This proposal has been considered in the 2014 and 2015 sessions, but hasn’t passed. This proposal is a partner proposal with the Regional Library Telecommunications Access aid (RLTA) program as the two funding streams support the same telecommunications network service schools and libraries across the state.