Education Related Issues On State Ballots This Fall: Rocky Mountain
In Idaho, a Homestead Exemption initiative, which would exempt the first $50,000 of assessed value on residences from property tax, was placed on the November ballot by petition. Its opponents say it would result in dramatic revenue losses to schools and other public services; supporters say they plan to recoup the lost revenue by taxing commercial and farm property.
The Republican state superintendent, Jerry L. Evans, has been re-elected without opposition.
Gov. John V. Evans, the incumbent Democrat and a favorite of the Idaho Education Association, is being challenged by Phil Batt, the Republican Lieutenant Governor.
Wyoming's voters will also decide on a referendum that will affect school finance. Amendment No. 2, which was placed on the ballot by the legislature, would permit a six-mill increase in the state tax levy for education and reduce county education levies by six mills. The change would allow the state to distribute school funds more equitably, in keeping with a 1980 order by the Wyoming Supreme Court. The state board of education, the state pta, the League of Women Voters, and education groups support the change.
Utah will be able to increase its support for public schools to more than 75 percent of total costs if voters approve the Tax Article Revision, a constitutional initiative placed on the ballot by the state legislature. At present, the state contribution is pushing the current limit of 75 percent, and since the legislature placed strict limits on local taxes in 1978, it is widely believed that more education funds will have to come from state sources.
Interest in education in the state has been so great, according to observers, that 57 candidates ran in the state primary for nine spots on the state board of education; four of six incumbents won.
Four of the seven seats on Colorado's state board of education are contested this year. Because of redistricting, the Denver area will gain one representative.