Fighting an Unfair Tax System

  • Superintendent Webb and student testifying at the Capitol. One of the State’s primary Constitutional responsibilities is to support a “general and uniform system of public schools.” But when residents of one school district pay 2-3 times more in local property taxes to raise the same amount of school revenue as residents of another district, something is wrong. Our current tax system results in exactly that type of inequity.

    For the past few years, we have asked the Legislature to fix this problem by passing “referendum equalization” – which means the state would pay a greater portion of referendum revenue currently covered by local property taxpayers. This would level the funding playing field across school districts and provide tax relief in low property wealth districts like South St. Paul.

     

     

    How can the state measure all kids on the same academic scale when state academic funding is not equal?


    We have a dream for

    • Education funding in Minnesota to ensure equal access and opportunity for ALL students regardless of what community they live in
    • Minnesota legislators to put ALL Minnesota kids first and honor their primary constitutional responsibilities of supporting a “general and uniform system of public schools”


    We have a problem

    • The state property tax system penalizes communities for having more residential property than commercial property
    • Taxpayers with less commercial property in their community will pay 2-3 times more to raise the same amount of funding for their schools as a taxpayer from a community that has more commercial property

    For example, if a WSP homeowner pays $10 in school taxes, the WSP school district gets enough money to buy a whole pizza - or more services for their students.

     

    equalization pizza graphic

     

    However, due to the unfair school funding law, if a SSP homeowner paid the same $10 in school taxes, the SSP school district would only be able to buy about 40% of a pizza - thus less services for students.

    Education funding needs to ensure equal access and opportunity for ALL students regardless of what community they live in.