Senator Scavello has introduced his property tax bill, which states it is "...for the imposition of a Statewide personal income tax; authorizing the imposition of a personal income tax or an earned income tax by a school district subject to voter approval; providing for school property tax exclusion; and making repeals." But reading the actual text of the bill*, IT IS REALLY A STATEWIDE ABILITY FOR A SCHOOL DISTRICT TO ELECT TO IMPOSE A LOCAL INCOME TAX to displace their property tax. This is NOT a statewide personal income tax bill. The state will collect the tax but it is up to the local school board to decide to do this and then put it up to a vote among the voters of the district.
This just moves the local property tax to a local income tax within that school district. Won't that drive small businesses out of the district if the nearby districts don't do this? Business owners still have to pay property tax and pay a higher income tax.
Since this is only for primary residences (Homesteads), renters will be paying a higher income tax but getting no benefit of rent reductions. So not everyone benefits from property tax reform in the district. Yet all voters have to vote for it. Was there really any thought on how it will even be approved when everyone pays more but only some get the benefit?
Also this bill does nothing about the unfair funding formula, so counties that are losing school students will continue to get higher reimbursement from the state and counties like Monroe that get a much smaller percentage will just have to find the revenue from workers paychecks.
Plus since this is not a statewide tax, but just on the personal income within the school district, each school district will have to figure out if there is even enough income in the district to offset property taxes.
Is this an election year stunt? Well it is Scavello so there is well over a decade of precedent for promises never delivered, I suppose that it gives Scavello the ability to say he introduced a bill, but Is any school board going to seriously consider this? We have heard this same promise of property tax reform for 16 years. This may actually make a bad situation worse. You can read the text of the bill here.