House Bill 355 would change the provision in Delaware Code that requires a school district to hold a successful public referendum before its board may approve tax increases to fund non-construction budget expenses.
The bill would allow a school board to raise property taxes up to 3 percent per year without consent of the voters in order to pay for expenses involved with the everyday operation of a school like teacher salaries, textbooks and supplies.
“It’s a politically charged issue,” said bill sponsor, Dover Rep. Darryl Scott, chairman of the House Education Committee.
He plans to introduce the measure next week, but he’s not sure of its legislative traction.
“I’m hopeful to have a productive conversation in committee,” he said.
The only conversation should take place is for Rep Scott to vacate his office now!
Though he knew the bill was in the works for a few months, Matt Lindell, president of the Capital School Board which encompasses most of the Dover area, is still skeptical that change would be beneficial to local districts.
“While it does provide the board with more taxing authority, I still think the referendum process is the best way to go. It’s the last tax that taxpayers really have the opportunity to vote up and down on,” Mr. Lindell said.
“With a 3-percent increase, that can mean different things to different districts.
Matt if this legislation makes it to law you can better your district and all districts in the state won’t ever see a successful capital funding referendum if they apply this law.
Short-term fixes to operational funding with this legislation might be beneficial but in the long-term we’ll see board members out on their asses at the next board elections after they utilize H.B.# 355.
H.B.#355 is nothing more than Fool’s Gold delivered by an outgoing state legislator! And only fool’s in legislative hall would support it.