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Taxing sales to fund Ohio schools?

As Ohio considers new ways to pay for public schools, legislative analysts said Wednesday one option is to replace local property tax revenue with an increase in the state sales tax, but they cautioned that it might be a risky move, the Associated Press reports. To raise the more than $9.9 billion that’s needed, policymakers would need to more than double the sales tax rate — from 5.5 cents on the dollar to 13.2 cents. It’s one of many ideas being kicked around by an Ohio House subcommittee laying the groundwork for a new state funding formula for schools. Jean Botomogno, principal economist for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, said in a memo that such a steep increase could affect how much the tax brings in because people don’t like to spend as much when the tax rate on their purchases is high. Wednesday’s hearing on school tax policy was the second held in the Republican-led House as Gov. John Kasich works on a new strategy for doling out education dollars. Ohio’s current formula has been repeatedly declared unconstitutional for relying too heavily on property tax revenues that tend to be higher in wealthier districts…

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