Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Schools Not Sharing

Schools Not Sharing

Decisions last night on the regressive tax front: No on sharing the loot with the cities, and probably voting February 13.

"'They said, 'If you decide to share the tax revenue, we will vote against it,'' Leff said of the feedback. 'We don't want to lose the election.'

Speak for yourself, Jan (do we have a write in candidate against you yet?) She is right on the point, however: passing a regressive tax here in the People's Republic is an iffy proposition at best. Everyone remembers how badly it failed in 1999 - 74% no countywide. They're gambling that at least a third of the opposition was to the individual projects and not votes against the principle of the regressive tax. But one of the biggest projects proposed for the sales tax - the Iowa City library - won a bond issue with 67% a year and a half later. The problem isn't "the kids" or the city vs. school issue - it's the regressivity, plain and simple.

Reaction from city and county government officials was one of resignation.

Iowa City Councilor Regenia Bailey said school board members have been considering voting against sharing for several weeks. She said the city is limited in how much it can spend, though area residents have said there is a need for the emergency communications center.

'We'll continue to look for other revenue sources,' Bailey said.

Good for you, Regenia. Would that the school district could do as much. From the mayors we get veiled threats, says the Gazette:

Fausett and Wilburn both said Tuesday that they would like their cities to continue to partner with the school district but that the relationship could become more challenging.

``I think we would like that (partnership) to continue,'' Fausett said. But ``I'm not sure the council would view the relationship as the same as in the past.''

Nice road to da school youse got dere. Shame if it didn't get plowed.

I wonder if any of the officials who wanted to share the tax will now help campaign against it? Or lobby the legislature for the ability to raise other sources of money? Naah. They looooove the "invisible", "voluntary" sales tax - in practice and frankly in principle (those poor folks are less likely to vote and/or complain than property owners.) They just want their piece of pie.

But maybe they won't be campaigning FOR it, which may help. And voting in February, we'll know the makeup of the new legislature and governor in Des Moines and have a sense of whether or not raising a less regressive tax is realistic.

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