Lobbyists for education groups appear before a special legislative committee opposing an overhaul of how Missouri now funds public schools. The Joint Committee on Tax Policy has heard testimony that it should scrap the local property tax in favor of funding schools through a flat personal income tax. Chris Straub with the Missouri School Boards Association tells committee members dumping the local property tax would hurt local control of schools and do away with the most stable of taxes. Straub also questions the wisdom of making school budgets so dependent on the state. Lobbyist Rowena Conklin with the Cooperating School Districts of the Greater Kansas City Area says the property tax is valuable beyond the money it brings in. She says it keeps public schools in local hands. The committee has been charged with reviewing the state’s entire tax structure to make recommendations to the legislature during the upcoming session.
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