Just when you thought it was safe to blog about other stuff this weekend, the Senate Finance Committee managed to slip through a proposed constitutional amendment that would cap school property taxes at $1.15 per $100 valuation. The bill is SJR7, authored by Steve Ogden, and passed out of Finance on a 10-2 vote (three absences), with a plan to do committee hearings tomorrow, Mother's Day, at 5:00 PM. The full Senate would be reconvened on Monday to vote on it.
Here's a little tidbit from the fiscal note to grab your attention:
Local revenue reduction due to the maximum tax rate reduction is $4.6 million in FY 2008 growing to $5.3 billion in FY 2011. The resolution does not speak to a replacement of this local revenue. The state cost would depend on the enabling legislation affecting school funding formulas.
The provision relating to the rate of appraisal increase is not self-enabling, and therefore does not have a fiscal impact within the context of this estimate.
In conjunction with the tax rate reduction described above, the provision increasing the local homestead exemption would reduce local revenue by $497 million in FY 2008, increasing to $500 million in FY 2011. There would be a corresponding cost to the Foundation School Program beginning the year following the increase in the exemption.
The net effect of the homestead exemption increase and the maximum tax rate reduction results in the amounts reflected in the tables above; local revenue is reduced by $5.1 billion in FY 2008 increasing to $5.8 billion in FY 2011.