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Fox Wants Sales Tax Hiked To Build Schools

State schools superintendent Anne Fox says she will ask the next Legislature to raise the state sales tax by one-half percent to provide money for local school district facilities.

A half-cent increase in the 5 percent sales tax would bring in about $60 million per year. Fox last session suggested that approach toward coping with a huge backlog of school facility needs, but the Legislature gave the idea scant consideration.

“We’ve got to do something in the area of plant facilities,” she said Thursday, during taping of KTVB’s “Viewpoint” program to be broadcast on Sunday.

Fox wouldn’t flatly oppose the One Percent Initiative, which would restrict property taxes. It’s been estimated that would cost $223 million in property tax revenue.

Fox said people are clamoring for some relief from property taxes, and it may be necessary to shift state funding to other sources, such as sales or income taxes.