Let us pledge to stop calling the funding mechanism for the state budget a “school shift.” That sounds too innocuous, as does “accounting gimmick,” which makes it sound as if these are fake numbers people are playing with that have no real consequences.
When the state “shifts” payments that are promised to schools, it forces the school districts to borrow money to make up for the money it should have received. Who do they borrow from? Why, from the Big Banks that we bailed out with our tax dollars at little or no interest!
And do these Banks, out of respect for those taxpayer-funded bailouts, make these loans to school districts interest-free? Quit your dreaming. They charge interest rates that the schools will have to make payments on. And how will they do that? You guessed it — through property tax levies, or, if voters reject those, they’ll see reduced school services or ever-expanding class sizes. This is not an accounting gimmick – it is stealing from our children.
So, think about it — we taxpayers pay once to bail the banks out and then again through property tax increases to pay the very banks that are now loaning school districts money.
And the CEO of that bank? Well, in Minnesota the GOP did everything they could to protect him so he pays not a penny more in income tax. Corporate tax loopholes? Also not closed. That’s what the final agreement enshrines. An already regressive tax structure in the state will become more so.
Minnesota Republicans, many of whom swore all session by the slogan, “Not a Penny More!” have adopted a new motto: “Hey, kid, can I borrow a penny?”
So, please, let’s not call this “accounting gimmick” a “school shift.”
It’s a New Bank Bailout.
A frequent guest of TPT’s Almanac and KSTP’s At Issue, Javier Morillo-Alicea serves as president of SEIU Local 26, which represents private-sector workers in the property service industry.