TOPEKA – A proposal that would have eliminated the state’s contribution to school bond payments isn’t coming out of committee this year.
Rep. Joe McLeland, R-Wichita, had hoped to work the bill today in the House Education Budget Committee, which he chairs, but there were not enough members present to vote on the measure.
Since Tuesday was the last time the committee was going to meet, the bill would not be moving to the House floor, he said.
April 4, is the last scheduled day for this year’s session and March 25 is the last day for committees to meet.
The state pays for a portion of the debt that local school districts take on when they sell bonds for construction projects. House Bill 2280 would have halted those contributions for bonds issued after it becomes law.
That means districts would either have had to hustle to issue bonds before the deadline or shifted the cost to district taxpayers. For Wichita School District, the move could have increased property taxes by about $152 million, Wichita district lobbyist Diane Gjerstad told the House Education Budget Committee during a prior hearing.
Wichita district voters approved a $370 million bond issue late last year. They were told that the bond issue would increase the property taxes on a $100,000 house by $42. Without the state’s payments, homeowners would see that rise to $53.50 a year on the same house.
While the measure might not be moving on, that doesn’t mean the idea can’t resurface elsewhere such as tacked onto another bill as an amendment.