Protecting Public Education
Because of its dependence on local taxes, and because property taxes are often the biggest tax abated, no public service is as adversely impacted by economic development subsidies as public education. Worse, no public bodies have as little say in whether companies should be getting the subsidies in the first place as school boards.
There is an easy remedy, one that’s already in place in some communities, and that’s taking the public-school portion of local taxes off the table when it comes to subsidies. Short of that, we also recommend cities and counties at a minimum notify schools when their budget is about to be compromised. Better yet, states should give school boards veto power over their shares of abatements.
All students, regardless of where they live or the incomes of their household, should have access to high-quality, fairly funded education.