Education bill aims to lower property tax burdens and increase equity for Minnesota schools

Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood), Chair of the Senate Education Committee, at today’s hearing on his bill about referendum equalization. Pictured from left to right: Superintendent Christine Osorio of North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District, Superintendent Dave Webb of South St. Paul School District, Sen. Wiger, Jeff Soloman, Director of Finance and Operations at Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District, and Superintendent Mark Bezek of the Elk River School District.
Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood), Chair of the Senate Education Committee, at today’s hearing on his bill about referendum equalization. Pictured from left to right: Superintendent Christine Osorio of North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District, Superintendent Dave Webb of South St. Paul School District, Sen. Wiger, Jeff Soloman, Director of Finance and Operations at Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District, and Superintendent Mark Bezek of the Elk River School District.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Tuesday morning a bill that would put $43 million back into the pockets of local tax payers received a hearing in the Senate Education Committee. Chair of the Education Committee and chief author of the bill Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood), says the bill addresses inequities across Minnesota school districts.

“I have always believed the quality of your education should not depend on your zip code – and this bill addresses that belief. This legislation will lower property taxes for lower property wealth school districts which means we’re helping level the playing field. This bill does not take any money away from districts that currently get a lot of money from property taxes – it just increases equity in education funding,” said Wiger.

Currently, local property taxes provide about 20 percent of the revenue for Minnesota school districts, a level that has been fairly constant for several years. Property tax levies play a critical role in funding education, but operating levies have a widely different impact on local property taxpayers depending on the property tax wealth of the school district. This bill attempts to address that gap and will help both rural and metro school districts and taxpayers.

Senator Chuck Wiger
Chuck Wiger represents District 43, which includes portions of Ramsey and Washington counties in the northeastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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