Monday, February 24, 2014

Star Press Reports Schools Closer to Tax Relief

From the Muncie Star-Press:

Another step was taken this week that could provide relief for districts dealing with protected taxes legislation.

Muncie Community Schools has been keeping a close eye on this legislative session, which could provide money — at least for a short time — to help keep the school buses running.

Because of protected taxes, MCS stands to lose 89 percent of its transportation fund. Bills moving through the senate and the house in recent weeks could keep that from happening.

This week, the senate appropriations committee heard an amended House Bill 1062, which deals with circuit breaker/protected taxes issues.

The amended bill would exempt school corporations who are impacted by 10 percent or more, including MCS, through 2016. The bill was passed unanimously, 12-0, by the committee. It now moves to the full senate.

A similar bill, SB 163, would have exempted corporations impacted 20 percent or more and offer grants to districts needing relief.

The amended bill is a blending of the two and, as such, will provide relief for 34 more state school districts.

The League of Women Voters of Muncie and Delaware County, which has sent representatives to speak in front of the general assembly, has stated that it believes there will not be anymore hurdles for the bill, that it will pass both the House and Senate.

Legislators failed to pass similar legislation in 2013, instead agreeing to delay implementation of the protected-levy law until this year.