Vt. House debates education financing plan

Published: Mar. 20, 2018 at 11:48 AM EDT
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A bill in the Vermont House would change how you pay for schools.

It lowers property taxes by nearly $60 million and raises the same amount in income taxes. It also sets a per-pupil spending base of about $12,000. School districts spending more would face higher property tax rates, while districts spending less would see tax breaks. All districts currently spend more than the proposed amount.

"It is a straight $59 million off the property and onto income tax. But the containment piece is in that underlying structure that I think makes the education fund a whole lot more transparent," said Rep. Mitzi Johnson, D-Vt. House Speaker.

"It may look like it does but it's masquerading because they're taking money from one pocket and moving it and taking it out of your other pocket. That's what I've been telling people all over Vermont," said Rep. Don Turner, R-Minority Leader.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott is also opposed. He sent a letter to lawmakers Tuesday outlining bills, including this one, that he is against because they include tax increases.