A Revenue….Not a Spending Problem

BEATRICE – As the discussion over high property taxes continues in Nebraska, schools often find themselves the target of that debate.  Politicians frequently call on them to curb their spending.

But one school superintendent is among those trying to set the record straight, by issuing a letter to constituents of his district.

:18                  “educating…kids”

Superintendent of Beatrice Public Schools, Jason Alexander says the narrative created that school spending is out of control is simply not the case, when the facts are examined.

Governor Pete Ricketts proposes full funding of the state education aid formula in his recently released budget, but Alexander says the formula has been fully funded only four times over the past seventeen years.

:33                  “the TEEOSA formula”

A coalition of education and agriculture groups is pushing for finding new sources of revenue to reduce reliance on property taxes, while promoting increased state support for schools.   Alexander says he’s encouraged by that effort.

:30                  “of the state”

Governor Pete Ricketts has consistently stated he will not support any tax increase, or a shift that increases taxes in exchange for reducing them elsewhere.

:34                  “that we do pay”

Alexander says there are other revenue sources that can help pay for education, and he adds, “we have to be creative and not limit ourselves in how we do that”.

In Kansas, the State’s Supreme Court ordered government to increase state support for education, following deep reductions in the state’s income tax.  Alexander says he hopes Nebraska doesn’t reach a similar point.

:08                  “end of the day”

Could this be the year that significant tax restructuring is approved in Nebraska?  Alexander says it appears there’s a good chance for strong progress toward that goal.  He says he remains encouraged, but admits it may take a couple of years to reach a resolution.

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