Bill would let schools levy income taxes

Friday, March 15, 2002

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- School districts could ask voters to enact local income taxes under a proposal given initial approval Thursday by the House.

Public schools traditionally have been financed by local property taxes and state funds. Proponents of the House bill said it would let schools collect more tax money without increasing property taxes, which some residents already believe are too high.

"It gives them an additional option," said Rep. D.J. Davis, D-Odessa, the bill's sponsor.

Davis said some districts are having a hard time raising property taxes. He thinks school districts might have an easier time raising income taxes. Under the bill, school districts would have to get voter approval before enacting an income tax, which would be a surcharge on an individual's state income tax and would be capped at 15 percent.

Any approved income tax would expire after three years but could last up to five years if used to cut property taxes.

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