Sales Taxes and School Districts

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Rural representatives in North Dakota's legislature have started a revolt against local option sales taxes used by some localities to help fund local education.State Rep. Mike Brandenburg argues that the lack of stores in more rural communities forces residents to shop in towns in more affluent districts, increasing the inequality between rich and poor districts.However, his proposed solution, House Bill 1314, may well create more problems than it solves.The bill would require stores to keep track of the home district of any shopper who spends more than $5, so the sales tax revenue can be directed to the shopper's home county.This system would create a huge administrative burden for both businesses and local governments.For a better solution to the problem of funding inequality between counties, North Dakota should consider revenue-sharing programs like those in Minnesota and Vermont.

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