Kansas tax committee considers school donation option

? A bill has been proposed in the Kansas Legislature that would allow taxpayers to donate money to local schools.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that a House tax committee held a hearing about the proposed bill Wednesday. If passed, the bill would place options for $1, $5, $10 and empty spaces for taxpayers to write in their donation of choice and unified school district of choice on state individual income tax returns.

State Rep. Joe Seiwert, who created the bill, said that his constituents often ask how they can make small donations to their school district.

“It requires nothing other than filling in the blanks. There are no hidden fees, no complicated paperwork,” Seiwert testified.

Renwick USD 267 Superintendent Tracy Bourne said at the hearing that the bill does not resolve concerns with the overall issues of school funding, but does provide some potential new revenue sources.

Rep. Don Hineman, R-Dighton, asked how many people use the half-dozen check-off options currently available on tax refunds. A revisor said about 25,000 Kansans contributed to one of the check-off options last year, donating a total of $366,949.

A fiscal note accompanying the bill says it would cost about $63,200 to implement. The Department of Revenue and Department of Education were unable to estimate the amount of money it would generate for schools.

The committee took no action on the bill on Wednesday.