DFL leader aims to minimize school reliance on property tax levies

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Incoming Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, is concerned school districts have to rely too much on local taxpayers to generate operating money. Minnesota Public Radio notes 90 percent of school districts in the state have such levies.

"It's an unfair way to fund schools," Bakk told MPR. "You get funding disparities all over the state, because some districts just have a totally different tax capacity or totally different demographics. So there's a lot of reasons that some districts -- no matter how hard they try, no matter how bad they need it -- they can't get a levy passed by people."

Tax reform, education, job creation, public works and a bonding bill are expected to be top priorities when Democrats takes control of the Minnesota Legislature on Jan. 8. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has also indicated he plans to put a major tax package on the table.

State lawmakers must balance a two-year budget and adjourn by May 20, but Forum Communications reports there's no concerns of another state government shutdown.

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