VOTE:NO – Died in Committee
HB 2158 provides for increase in personal income and corporate excise tax rates to fund the School Improvement Fund based on high school graduation rate.
Since Oregon’s graduation rate was 68% in 2011 and remains above 65%, this law would have no effect until it drops to 65%. Rob Saxton projects a 20-30% reduction in grades due to common core implementation.
If high school graduation rate falls to 65%, a new tax bracket of greater than $250,000 is added and would modify taxes from 9.9% to 11% of the excess over $250,000 in income. Section 2 changes the corporate tax rate from 6.6% of the first million to 6.6% of the first $250,000 of taxable income. It also modifies the rate from 7.6% to 7.9% of taxable income in excess of $250,000, instead of $1 million. But, in order to again reduce the tax rate the high school graduation rate has to rise to at least 90%. Taxes fund the School Improvement Fund providing grants to specific schools for valid programs. The bill isn’t coordinated with the economy where taxpayers can absorb the increased tax rate.
When you match funds when schools don’t reach a certain level, as in No Child Left Behind, you will surely find cheating to retain funding.
If schools know that money will be available if they fail, there is a strong disincentive to improve performance. Rates are determined at the end of the biennium on June 30. This doesn’t leave much time for planning and stability for businesses to operate on a sustainable basis since this doesn’t take into consideration the economy.