However, rates are based on property tax contributions to the education fund, and, currently, property owners are being overcharged in two ways:
First, programs not directly K-12, have been billed to the fund over the years, thus, raising the burden on all property tax payers; and,
Second, as about one-third of education funding comes from nonproperty tax sources, such as dedicated statewide revenues and general fund transfers, any shortfalls, such as the outstanding $27 million in the general fund, are picked up by property owners.
During the debate on H.265, Rep. Anne Donahue offered a defeated amendment that I supported, that would have shifted the cost of the current use program out of the education fund.
Rep. Heidi Scheuermnn offered an amendment I supported that challenged the Legislature to replace present education funding. Her amendment was replaced by a compromise amendment from Rep. Bill Lippert, which I opposed.
Until we confine ourselves to using the education fund for K-12 purposes and until we guarantee proper general fund transfers, the property tax payer will be overburdened. I have introduced H.352 which would restore the $27 million owed to the education fund. I will continue to call for fiscal notes for legislation that affects property taxes.
I will also continue to work with others not only for fairness in education funding, including small school grants, but also for equal educational opportunity in education spending.