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Wed October 22, 2008
Supreme Court hears education windfall debate
Cheyenne, Wy – The state Supreme Court is considering oral arguments in another lawsuit over school finance issues. At issue this time is some $97 million in local taxes that five school districts have refused to turn over to the state after Wyoming voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2006.
The amendment removed a constitutional provision that allowed
school districts with booming oil and gas development to keep some
of their windfall tax money instead of giving it all to the state
to redistribute evenly among all districts.
The school districts in Pinedale, Big Piney, Gillette, Shoshoni
and Kemmerer contend the constitutional amendment merely gave the
state Legislature the authority to take the money if they chose.
The Legislature didn't do that until earlier this year.
The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Wednesday and will
issue a written opinion later.