Topeka The Kansas Senate on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to legislation that Lawrence school district officials say they need to prevent a possible tax increase.
Under current law, to keep $1.275 million the district receives from a cost-of-living adjustment under the school finance law, the district would have to seek a tax increase, which it says it doesn't need.
"That really makes no sense under our current circumstances," said Sen. John Vratil, R-Leawood. "It is rather foolish to require a school district to levy a tax greater than it needs in order to access a different part of the school finance formula."
Senate Bill 69 was advanced without dissent. A final Senate vote on the bill will be today. If approved, it will go to the House for consideration.
The measure would lower the required maximum percentage of local tax share to access the cost-of-living funds.
Last year, the cost-of-living adjustment was made eligible to 18 school districts, including Lawrence, as part of the three-year, $466 million school funding plan.
Sen. Roger Pine, R-Lawrence, said he didn't think the intent of last year's bill was to put Lawrence and other districts in a position of having to increase taxes to keep the cost-of-living revenue.
"I would look at this as a technical change," Pine said.