Bill would allow school districts to increase taxes to pay for transportation costs

School BussesUnder a bill offered today in the Iowa House of Representatives, school districts would be allowed to ask the voters for new taxing authority to pay for their transportation costs.

House File 84, sponsored by five Republicans and a Democrat, would create the Transportation Cost Supplement Program in which school districts could supplement the funding they already receive from the state with additional tax revenue. Participation in the program would require a successful voter referendum, which would allow for participation for no more than 10 years.

The taxation could be solely in the form of a property tax, or as a combination of property tax and income tax surcharge. The funds collected cannot exceed the district’s actual transportation costs.

HF 84 also allows for early termination of the tax at the discretion of the local school board, or by another voter referendum.

The bill’s sponsors are Rep. Larry Sheets (R-Moulton), Rep. Todd Gassman (R-Arlington), David Heaton (R-Mt. Pleasant), Rep. Norlin Mommsen (R-DeWitt), Rep. Dave Maxwell (R-Gibson), and Rep. Curt Hanson (D-Fairfield). It has been referred to the House Education Committee for consideration.

There are no current lobbyist declarations on the proposed legislation.