Will Ron Tomalis Reject School District Tax Shopping?

It would be really bad precedent if Tom Corbett’s Education secretary lets people switch school districts because they want to pay lower taxes:

The coalition has cited financial reasons for the secession because Riegelsville residents are taxed differently than the district’s Northampton County taxpayers.

Riegelsville taxes rose 30 percent in 2006, while taxes for Northampton County taxpayers rose 4.5 percent. That was because the district was required to readjust assessments based on a state formula at the time.

Both the Easton Area and Palisades school districts oppose the secession movement. The move could adversely affect Palisades’ state subsidy, according to court documents, and would also cost Easton about $1.4 million in taxes.

This is why you need county-wide school districts. It’s going to be a mess if Ron Tomalis sets off an even more explicit price war between school districts. The tax rate should be uniform across a large area to prevent housing market distortions and segregation by income. A county-sized school district would be ideal in my opinion, but even combining two or three adjacent districts would be preferable to the current set-up, and certainly better than the massive segregation that would follow a a decision in favor of Riegelsville.

[Source: Colin McEvoy]