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S. 658 (114th): Local Taxpayer Relief Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 4, 2015.


Local Taxpayer Relief Act

Amends the Impact Aid Improvement Act of 2012 to make permanent amendments that Act made to the Impact Aid program (which compensates local educational agencies [LEAs] for the financial burden of federal activities affecting their school districts) that:

require the valuation of the federal property located within the boundaries of an LEA by calculating the valuation, for property tax purposes, of all property within the LEA's boundaries and then multiplying that value by the proportion of that property that is federal property; alter the formula for determining the foundation payments due LEAs for federal ownership of property when appropriations for a fiscal year are insufficient to provide them with full compensation; alter the formula for determining the payments due LEAs for eligible federally-connected children who are displaced from federal property or Indian lands due to housing renovation or rebuilding; and direct the Secretary of Education to complete Impact Aid payments to eligible LEAs within two fiscal years of their appropriation. (This fiscal year limitation was amended by this Act.) Amends the Impact Aid program of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to allow an LEA that has federal property within its boundary that is also within the boundary of another LEA to ask the Secretary to use the average of the per-acre value of the federal property in each jurisdiction in calculating the taxable value of that property.

Establishes a separate formula for determining the foundation payments to be made to certain FY2016 eligible LEAs (those that last received a federal property-based Impact Aid payment prior to FY2006) when appropriations for a fiscal year are insufficient to provide them with full compensation for federal ownership of property.

Alters the formula for determining the payments due LEAs for eligible federally-connected children. Includes not only children in average daily attendance but also those enrolled pursuant to a state open enrollment policy.

Continues an LEA's eligibility for such payments while activities associated with military base closures and realignments or force structure changes or relocations are ongoing.

Allows the calculation of such payments using current student counts instead of prior fiscal year data when LEAs experience a specified influx of new federally-connected students due to federal activities or the closure of an LEA that was receiving Impact Aid due to federally-connected children.

Requires the Secretary to allow LEAs to count their federally-connected children using the date they register their students for the fiscal year for which their application is filed.

Alters the formula for determining the construction payments due LEAs that are eligible for other Impact Aid payments. Divides 80% of the construction funds evenly between LEAs impacted by military dependent children and LEAs impacted by children residing on Indian lands, with the remainder reserved for emergency repair and modernization grants to LEAs serving Indian lands or experiencing a specified influx of new students due to federal activities.

Alters the formula for determining whether a state's plan for equalizing assistance to its LEAs will except it from the prohibition on state aid to LEAs being affected by Impact Aid payments.

Requires new LEAs applying for Impact Aid to have boundaries established by state law and the authority to tax or receive an imputed local tax.

Directs the Secretary to complete Impact Aid payments to eligible LEAs within two fiscal years after funds are appropriated for such payments.

Reauthorizes appropriations for the Impact Aid program.