House Debates Property Tax in Education Funding Bill - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

House Debates Property Tax in Education Funding Bill

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Bismarck -

A bill that hasn't had many problems all session hits a major bump today in the House.

Representatives spent over an hour debating the K-12 Funding bill, House Bill 1319.

The bill spends $1.8 billion to fund education and in return delivers property tax relief.

Under the bill the state picks up 80% of the cost of education, that means less money will need to go to schools from property taxes.

Supporters say the legislation will mean $700 million in property tax relief.

The average homeowner could see a 35% reduction.

But many House members say they don't believe the bill won't provide relief, because the bill doesn't address caps on local spending.

Representative Jim Kasper of Fargo says, "If we want to fund education, lets fund education, but there's an alternative. It's not this bill. This formula has the flaw of continuing the merry-go-round of increased spending and no control of local spending."

"There's no guarantee that it's going to give the kind of relief, meaning taxpayers paying less dollars, that many of us hope it will," says Kim Koppelman of West Fargo.

"I not going to support this bill. There's an alternative and don't tell me it's too late in the session. That doesn't mean I have to accept a bad idea because we only have one day left," says Majority Leader Al Carlson.

The bill passed by a vote of 49-42.

The Senate will give the final approval Friday, the legislature's last day.

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