Everyone wants more money for education this year, but where will it come from? Governor Scott’s plan includes $507 million more, but 85% comes from local property taxes. The House plan calls for $601 million with 84% from local property taxes. The Senate plan has a larger increase $650 million, and for now a similar percentage for local effort. Senator Gaetz, however, will roll out alternative funding formulas that could increase the state share.
Years ago, the State funded about 70% of the budget for schools but that has steadily declined. Thus, revenue generated from local property values had less impact on school funding. Now, when property values go down, as in the recent recession, school revenue declines dramatically.
According to the Miami Herald, the debate in the legislative session will revolve around Governor Scott’s proposal to reduce corporate taxes by $ 1 billion dollars. Less state revenue from corporations means that most of the increase in education funding will have to come from local communities. The Senate will propose a 50-50 share, however, which is projected to eat into the Governor’s tax cut plan by about $250 million dollars.
Let’s think…$750 million in tax cuts for corporations and $250 million for schools. Yet, the impact on local community property taxes would be less. It sounds like a compromise.