Freed Back Act 60 Reform Proposal
(Host) House Speaker Walter Freed says her hopes to have an Act 60 reform bill on the House floor for a vote before the end of the month.
Speaking last night on VPR's "Switchboard," Freed endorsed legislation introduced last week week by Stowe Representative Dick Marron.
The bill increases the student block grant by more than $1,000 and it pays for this change by raising the statewide property tax rate to $1.38. The proposal also eliminates the sharing pool of Act 60 unless a community spends more than $10,000 per student.
Freed says it is a fair approach:
(Freed) "Keep in mind, under this plan every town in the state has a lower property tax except the gold towns. And the quid pro quo for them is that they do, they are the ones that are actually putting in more money. That's where the money is coming from, is the higher statewide property tax. And what do they benefit out of it? They get to¿alleviate the sharing pool for future years, they don't have to do voluntary fundraising. It takes away the desire to do, or the need to do, voluntary fundraising."
(Host) The proposal would also eliminate the income sensitive component of Act 60 for all local spending above the block grant level.