Little lauds introduction of school funding bill

Governor Brad Little issued a statement today following the introduction of the school facilities funding and tax relief bill Thursday.

“I am so grateful to my partners in the Legislature for supporting improved school facilities across our great state while delivering EVEN MORE tax relief for the hardworking families and businesses of Idaho!” Governor Little said. “We all agree Idaho students deserve to learn in a productive, safe environment, and the broad list of supporters for our bill is growing daily. This top priority bill proposes the largest investment ever in school facilities and lowers income taxes even further. It also has the added benefit of long term property tax relief because the state is footing the bill for many improvements local property owners would otherwise cover. Thank you, Idaho Legislature, for putting kids and families first!”

The bill makes $2 billion available to improve school facilities over 10 years and reduces the flat income tax rate from 5.8% to 5.695% so working Idaho families can keep even more of what they earn.

According to the bill statement of purpose, HB521 provides the largest state investment in school facilities through three main avenues. First, it dedicates $125 million in ongoing sales tax revenue to the new School Modernization Facilities Fund for bonding, while providing the legislature with expanded options to cover annual service on the bonds in the event of economic downturns.

Second, this legislation increases the funding to the School District Facility Fund in two ways. It increases the sales tax revenue directed to the fund from 2.25% to 3.25% which is projected to be $25 million in FY 2025, and redirects existing lottery dividends to the fund, which is projected to be approximately $50 million in FY 2025. This fund will help school districts with paying down school bonds, levies, and plant facility levies, with any remaining funds being used at the district level for additional school facility projects.

To read the bill, click here.