K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: States Grapple With Unpopular Property Taxes; Madison Seeks Continue Annual Increases; Chicago to Fund Pension Deficits

Elaine S. Povich

State Sen. David Argall thinks Pennsylvania’s law to fund schools with property taxes, which dates from the 1830s, has outlived its usefulness. He is pushing a bill that would eliminate property taxes levied by school districts and replace the revenue with higher state income and sales taxes.

For the first time, his idea is gaining some traction.

Argall, a Republican, has tried before to scrap the property tax collected by school districts, but this year he got more than half the state senators to co-sponsor his bill. He said the problem with property taxes is that “the tax has very little connection to the ability to pay.”

Poll results make Emanuel’s Chicago property tax hike a tougher sell.

Related: Madison Schools’ 2014-2015 Budget Update; Assumes 16% Increase in Redistributed State Tax Dollars, 2.11% Property Tax Growth; About $400,000,000 for 27,186 students.

Judge halts Illinois pension reform law.

Additional charts & data on Madison’s tax & spending growth, here.