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Guaranteed Tax Base

In most states, local property taxes provide a large share of the funding available to public schools. Thus, differences between the resources available to school districts in wealthy communities compared with those in poor ones may contribute to inequities in educational opportunity. The guaranteed tax base is a type of school finance equalization grant intended to account for disparities among local tax bases, allowing all school districts in a state to operate with seemingly equal per-pupil tax bases. To compensate for local tax disparities, the state provides school districts with additional aid that allows districts where property values are below average to choose higher tax rates in order to raise a minimally “guaranteed” amount of local tax dollars. Conversely, it allows school districts with access ...

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