Beginning after the session adjourned on Friday and continuing through Sunday night, Speaker Jim Scheer, Senator Jim Smith, Senator Tom Briese, Senator Mike Groene, Senator Burke Harr, Senator Curt Friesen, and Senator Steve Erdman met to discuss ways to revive the tax debate before the Legislature. They have agreed to release the following statement:
“Over the weekend we met to see if there was a path forward using the components of the bills introduced to address property taxes. We recognized that education costs and traditional sources of education funding create burdens on tax payers in both equalized and unequalized districts. In looking to correct the problem, we need accountability for state funding of education both financially and for educational outcomes. The difference came as to how to fix the problem. Differences included whether to raise new dollars, reduce expenditures, economic growth, and/or a combination of any or all. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful. We want to thank Speaker Scheer for showing leadership and bringing all parties together to attempt to find a solution.”
Today is the final day for bills to receive first round approval and all three measures to deal with property taxes still face filibusters.