How can we get more funding for public education without raising taxes? Representative Jim Bird (Republican, West Jordan), thinks he has an answer.
As we’ve mentioned many times, Utah is 51st in the nation on how much funding we provide our neighborhood schools per pupil, falling behind every other state. But the Utah Legislature has shown a heavy disinterest in any solutions to find further money if it involves raising taxes.
In addition to Representative Briscoe’s clever HB 55, another great option will come before lawmakers this year.
HB 271 sets aside 10% of the gross profits from the DABC (Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control) and earmarks them specifically for teacher’s salaries, benefits and school prep days.
“Right now, funding for school lunches and other programs comes from the DABC,” says Representative Bird. “I don’t want to disturb that in any way, shape, or form, those are good programs. But right now this money is going into the General Fund, and I think we should use it to help schools, without having to raise taxes on Utahns.”
This year, 10% of the gross DABC profits would equal $37,551,000. That’s a heavily needed amount that could go into our education budget. And because it’s set on a percentage rather than a specific amount, it avoids putting any unneeded burden on the DABC to push for more liquor sales in order to meet a price tag. The higher the sales, the more goes into education, the lower the sales, the less goes in.
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Impact on Average Utahn:
High Impact 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 No Impact
Necessary 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 Unnecessary
Great Bill 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 . -1 . -2 . -3 . -4 . -5 Poor Bill