DID YOU KNOW?
HB 576 by Rep. Chris Broadwater would create a special statewide taxing district that would use a state property tax, approved by voters, with funding dedicated to higher education academic operations, run by higher education management boards. It pegs the amount to general funding, where it is not supposed to compensate for reductions in state support. The homestead exemption would apply. He offered up an amendment that said these votes could happen only when at least another statewide election was on the ballot, and the House Ways and Means Committee adopted it without objection.
He defended against the notion that it was a tax increase by saying it simply created a choice. Opponent Tim Barfield of the Department of Revenue said it would allow one part of the state to impose on another even if they have very divergent views on the tax, and it disproportionately affects those on fixed incomes. Broadwater tried to draw an analogy between statewide elections for taxation and that of U.S. Senators, and that the fixed income argument was different. He noted that a few taxing districts had been created in the past couple of years – but all examples given were local.
He moved to report, which received objection, and it failed 6-11, most favorable votes coming from Democrats.