Norfolk, NE senator offers new idea to help with school funding - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Norfolk, NE senator offers new idea to help with school funding

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Some Nebraska senators are weighing a potential new approach to K-12 funding, and a Siouxland lawmaker has an idea he says will work for the most school districts.

Members of the Nebraska Legislature's Education Committee have been discussing different funding options for K-12 schools, including a suggestion to let districts impose a local sales tax.

The committee met last week as part of its ongoing study of the funding formula that determines state aid for schools. Sen. Jim Scheer, of Norfolk, says the state may want to consider letting school districts impose a local sales tax, which would let them fill more of their own needs. He says that would help many of the districts that generate large sales tax revenues, but are hampered by flat property values.

"Those districts in the Omaha area or Lincoln, their funding source has gone down not up. And so it really hasn't been able to keep up with the rural districts," Sen. Jim Scheer, Norfolk, NE said.

The Norfolk School District has also been hampered by flat property values in recent years. Current law lets districts generate revenue through property taxes, but only up to a certain amount. Sen. Scheer says he may offer up his idea as new legislation when the Unicameral reconvenes next January.

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