« PreviousContinue »
funds when local effort is equal to other comparable non
PL 874 districts.
(f) The current low level of funding is not sufficient for
the eight highly impacted districts in Nebraska to
provide an adequate education at a comparable cost. (g) Only if the provisions outlined above are included in the legislation, or some others which accomplish the same purpose, will highly impacted districts be able to avert a financial crisis in the event that further reductions are made in FL 874 funding.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to add a comment on PL 815.
This program has received only minimal funding since 1970. Our district has had an approved application that has remained unfunded since 1969.
During the past several years, PL 815 funds have been used for rebuilding school buildings damaged or destroyed by natural disasters. funds have not been replaced although I believe it was the intent of the Congress to restore them through a supplemental appropriation when they were temporarily allocated for the emergency use.
It appears that the net effect has been to divert PL 815 funds from
their lawful use to the disaster programs.
I would hope that the legislation on PL 815 would clarify that the
PL 815 funds are to be expended for school building construction in impacted districts only.
18. Of the 297 Unified Districts in Nebraska, 8 have a relative impaction (all of "A" pupils plus one-half of "B" pupils, divided by total enrollment) of more than 10%.
*(6) Plattsmouth (7) Walthill
* Serves Offutt AFB
Serves Indian Reservation
Of the eight districts serving Offutt, three, Bellevue Papillion and
The three highly impacted districts have only 36% of the tax base per
The five more lightly impacted districts also show the effects of impaction.
STATEMENT OF RICHARD L. TRIPLETT
Mr. TRIPLETT. I would first like to thank Congressman Cavanaugh for those very kind words. He has provided us with a great deal of support, as we have attempted to solve some of the problems of the impact aid program.
I would also like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to be here today to offer testimony on behalf of the Federal impact program.
I am Superintendent of schools of Bellevue, Nebraska. Our disrtrict does serve Offutt Air Force Base which is, of course, the headquarters of the Strategic Air Command. Approximtaely 70 percent of our enrollment of 10,250 students are dependents of those that are employed at the Air Base. Half of these are Category A students and the other half are categorized as B students. All of the students are children of military personnel with the exception of about 690 students who are children of Civil Service employees. I would like to take this opportunity to elaborate on three very important points that I feel the subcommittee membership should give consideration to as it begins its review of the authorizing legislation for Public Law 874 and 815.
First, I would like to point out that the B funding can be justified on the same philosophical and economic basis as can the A funding and I would like to cite several examples.
First, 18 percent of the land mass in the Bellevue District is off of the tax rolls. This is a place where both Category A and Category Btype families are employed.
Second, the effect of the Soldiers and Sailors' Relief Act is, of course, to allow those who are in the uniformed services, again irrespective of whether they are Category A or Category B-type students, to pay their income taxes and personal property taxes in the state of their legal residence.
If I may cite a couple of examples: The Offutt payroll in 1976 was approximately $207 million. Although the payroll does have a positive economic effect when spent in our community, the reality of the situation is that a large percentage of the state income taxes that are paid are paid to a state other than Nebraska.
With respect to an example of the personal property tax, there are 60,000 automobiles registered inside the county. 22,000 carry non-resident license plates. Thus there's more than $2 million in local taxes that are not collected by the local taxing agencies of the county again due to the provisions that are contained within the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act.
Mobile homes also fall into this same classification. A major portion of what is earned by military families is spent on the base. The sales at the base exchange and commissary exceeded $38 million in 1976, none of which was subject to our state and local sales tax. If you apply the 4 percent sales tax times the $38 million worth of sales, it is a tax loss of $1,500,000 which is the net result, and I think again it is important to point out that the sales, of course, are made to both Type A families as well as Type B families. The last local resource consideration that I would like to bring to your attention or that has an effect upon our local resources is the
principle of exclusive jurisdiction. The exercise of the principle of exclusive jurisdiction by the Air Force with respect to Offutt Air Force Base removes privately-owned property from taxation. Thus utilities, such as the telephone company, leased computers, of which there are a number at Offutt, all having a valuation in terms of millions of dollars, are removed from the tax rolls.
Our county assessor in 1973 placed an estimate on that type of equipment. It was approximately $70 million; applying our local millage times that figure it results in a $4.5 million tax loss to our community.
Thus the argument that the economic impact is shown in our district certainly is not substantiated as applied to the Bellevue School. In fact, our district remains the least able in the state to finance an adequate educational program for our residents. Our per pupil cost is $2300 less than the state average. Our millage is 20 mills higher than the state average. Our present loss due to a prorated impact bill is the equivalent of 7 mills and if the B section of the program were to be completely eliminated, it would increase our millage by an additional 13 mills if all of that money was to be picked up locally.
Our local taxpayers cannot afford and will not in any way subsidize the Federal government to this degree.
My second major point has to do with degree of impaction. Degree of impaction is an important factor when the authorizing legislation is not fully funded, a situation which we have experienced since 1969.
When the Federal Government chooses not to honor its financial obligations to the servicing districts in accordance with the authorizing legislation, it becomes very obvious to us that a priority system must be built in that has the effect of channelling fundsfirst channelling funds to school districts having the greatest need. I am sure that the research will bear me out when I say that there is a direct correlation between the degree of impact and the availability of resources at the local level to provide an adequate program for our youngsters.
My third and final point has to do with Public Law 815. This program has received only minimal funding since 1970. Our district has had an approved application that has remained unfunded since 1969. During the past several years Public Law 815 funds have been used for rebuilding school buildings damaged or destroyed by natural disasters. These funds have not been replaced although I believe it was the intent of the Congress to restore them with a supplemental appropriation when they were temporarily allocated for emergency use.
It appears that the net effect has been to divert Public Law 815 funds from their lawful use to disaster programs. I would hope that the legislation on Public Law 815 would clarify that P.L. 815 funds are to be expended for school building construction in impacted districts only.
I thank you.
Chairman PERKINS. Thank you very much for your testimony. Our next witness is going to be Dr. Mueller, Superintendent of Douglas School District No. 51-1, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.