Gov. Norm Bangerter, who must decide by midnight Tuesday what action to take on bills passed by the 1992 Legislature, has been advised by the Utah attorney general's office that the so-called "Robin Hood" bill is constitutional.
The bill, actually titled Equalization of Capital Outlay Monies in Public Education, has earned its nicknamed because it would take money from "rich" school districts and share it with "poor" school districts.Attorneys for the Salt Lake School District have already declared the bill unconstitutional and have threatened to challenge it in court unless the governor vetos it.
The school district - which stands to lose $3.7 million annually - issued a 16-page legal memorandum that said the bill is unconstitutional because all taxpayers in the state will not be uniformly affected.
The attorney general's office disagreed. A one-page opinion co-written by Bryce Pettey and L.A. Dever said that argument is incorrect because the bill provides for a uniform tax levy.
"The fact that a uniform tax after levy is distributed unequally is not a violation . . .," stated the opinion issued Monday.