Without Representation

A DFL legislator would very much like to give school districts the power to raise taxes without voter approval:

“In any other year, I would be horrified by the idea,” said Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville. “But I will consider this as a short-term solution. Education funding should be from the state. But schools need a lifeline right now.”

Greiling, who chairs the House K-12 Education Finance Division, introduced a bill last week that would allow school districts to levy up to $200 per pupil from local taxpayers without voter approval.

The bill is one of three that gives districts more taxing authority. They are scheduled to go in front of Greiling’s committee this week.

Great idea, DFL.  People are hurting, unemployment is booming – shake ’em down for more!

Not every DFLer has lost his mind:

“I’m very hesitant to do that. When property taxes have gone up $3.6 billion since 2003, we don’t need to be raising more property taxes,” said Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, chairman of the House Property and Local Sales Tax Division.

About three-quarters of school funding — close to $7 billion annually — comes from the state.

The rest comes from property taxes. School districts across the state levied about $2.3 billion for taxes payable in 2010.

That 2.3 billion, by the way, is money that charter schools don’t get; whenever any DFL/MFT/MN2020 flaks tell you “charter schools cost more than public schools”, ask ’em why they’re leaving out a quarter of the budget.

At any rate, here’s the DFL’s message to you; “our institutions can’t operate within a budget, like the rest of you have to, so we’re going to take what we need.  We’ll let you know when we’ve decided what that is. Buh-bye”.

2 thoughts on “Without Representation

  1. It’s one thing to be against raising taxes, and I do. But that doesn’t mean we can’t reform the process as I’ve advocated before. This is the rarest of circumstances where I must not only agree with Rep. Greiling, but further contend that her proposal doesn’t go far enough. I again call for local control, meaning a dutifully elected school board should be able to set operating levies without referendums, just like cities and counties. And these politically wise, reality foolish state levy limits should be abolished.

    Let the school board members stick their necks out. Right now, they’re so constrained they all look financially responsible, unable to spend what they really want. Meanwhile, the superintendents understand without explicit board action that they are to play whatever games necessary to get around these limits.

    This is still taxation with representation. What it is not today is taxation with accountability. Indeed, the school boards point to the “lack of money” as excuses for lack of results. I’m willing to spend a little more to take that excuse away, and thereby better expose the real problems.

  2. This is another example of taxpayers being used as nothing more than an ATM machine for bigger government. The problems in education aren’t due to lack of funds, which means the solutions to these problems won’t be solved by throwing $200 per student at the problem.

    Bob Barrett
    Republican Candidate for State Rep -17B
    (Chisago County)

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