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Educators Oppose Hoosier Property Tax Solutions

Last updated on Wednesday, November 28, 2007

(UNDATED) - The two main proposals for slashing Hoosiers’ property taxes both provide most of that relief by transferring school funding to the state. Now the state teachers’ union is warning legislators not to do it.

Educators have long resisted changes to the property tax, saying schools need a stable money source that won't dry up during a recession.

And Indiana State Teachers Association Deputy Director Dan Clark says control of school budgets needs to stay in local hands. He says if schools have to compete with universities and health care for state funding, somebody will come out the loser.

Instead of moving schools' general fund to the state, the ISTA suggests going 50-50 with the state on construction costs and bond repayments.

The ISTA opposes Governor Daniels' call for referenda to approve school construction projects. Clark says that might be acceptable for items such as football stadiums or administration buildings, but argues a referendum is the wrong way to review projects earmarked for classroom instruction.

Daniels has argued if tax relief is going to be permanent, the state needs to wipe out some local levies entirely. And he says there needs to be a less cumbersome way than the current petition process to review school construction plans.

Schools account for about half the typical property tax bill.

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