House, Senate OK school tax extension, heads to Gov. Ducey for approval

PHOENIX - The Arizona House has joined the Senate in voting to extend a sales tax that provides more than $500 million a year for K-12 schools until 2041.

Thursday's votes send the proposal to Gov. Doug Ducey for his consideration.

Ducey on Thursday afternoon praised the legislature's work, saying the passage "takes Prop 301 20 more years into the future."

Proposition 301 was approved by voters in 2000 and levies a 6/10 of a cent sales tax to fund K-12 schools, universities and colleges. It was set to expire in 2021.

The proposal approved on supermajority votes in both chambers extends the tax for 20 years. It takes $64 million currently being used for debt service and redirects it to teacher pay after June 2021. That will provide about a 2 percent pay increase.

The sales tax brings in about $667 million a year. Public K-12 schools get the bulk of the cash, but universities and colleges and bond interest payments also get a share.

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