Speaker Saiki Proposes Bill to Fund Teacher Compensation
House Speaker Scott Saiki has introduced a constitutional amendment proposing that the Board of Education have concurrent real property tax authority to fund teacher compensation.
Speaker Saiki said House Bill 2671 addresses the question of how to fund increased teacher compensation.
The general public and business community must weigh in on whether taxes should be raised to increase teacher salaries, and, if so, whether a real property tax is an appropriate source of revenue.
If approved by the Legislature, the item would be placed on the 2020 general election ballot, giving voters the opportunity to ratify it.
Under the bill, the counties would retain their real property tax authority in addition to the BOE.
The bill has been referred to its committees for public hearings.
The amendment question, if placed on the ballot, would read:
“Shall the Constitution of the State of Hawaii be amended by repealing the counties’ exclusive jurisdiction over real property taxation and providing instead that the taxation of real property shall be under the concurrent jurisdiction of both the board of education and counties, thereby allowing the board of education to levy real property taxes to fund teacher compensation?”
A separate bill, HB 2662, has been introduced to statutorily implement the constitutional amendment if it is ratified. HB 2662 is a “short form” bill that requires the Legislature to insert statutory implementation language.
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