Ritter revises plan to freeze tax rates for school districts | SummitDaily.com

Ritter revises plan to freeze tax rates for school districts

DENVER ” Gov. Bill Ritter is revising his proposal to block an expected decline in property-tax rates for school districts after lawmakers questioned whether it is constitutional.

His new plan would reduce property-tax rates in 33 districts while locking rates at current levels in the remaining 145 districts. The previous plan would have affected all but a few districts.

Ritter’s latest proposal would let school districts keep an extra $55 million, relieving the state from a requirement to pick up some of the costs from local school districts.

“This is a way to address inequities in school districts that are suffering under exorbitantly high tax rates,” said Evan Dreyer, Ritter’s spokesman.

The proposal would cut rates to $27 per $1,000 of taxable value in 33 districts in Adams, Arapahoe, Baca, Conejos, Costilla, El Paso, Kit Carson, Larimer, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Otero, Phillips, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache, Sedgwick, Washington and Weld counties.

Ritter said he wants to “stabilize” property-tax rates in school districts across the state to prevent the State Education Fund, a primary source of funding for schools, from going bankrupt.

Republicans said the stabilization is a tax increase that would require voter approval.

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