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I bought a home in a rich neighborhood because it is close to my work place, but I think other school districts would benefit more from my money. Is there any chance to choose where the school funding part of my property tax goes?

migrated from politics.stackexchange.com May 14 '18 at 11:17

This question came from our site for people interested in governments, policies, and political processes.

  • Requested migration to Law.se. You're going to need to specify your local government for them to help you. – IllusiveBrian May 14 '18 at 0:27
  • No. But it's entirely legal to contribute extra funds to federal IRS, so I suspect it would be equally legal to contribute extra funds to some local tax system, although it's uncertain if you would be able to earmark it to be designated for school system. – DVK May 14 '18 at 3:56
  • The answer is 'no', but nearly any school would be more than happy to accept direct donations. – blip May 14 '18 at 3:57
  • There may be an interesting question about local funding perpetuating the economic situation of a region, but you should remove your personal opinion statement. – chirlu May 14 '18 at 6:37
  • Politics.SE is more about the political processes which result in laws and policies. Not about how laws and government policies actually work in the real world and how individuals can navigate them. That's more of a question for Law Stack Exchange. I will migrate the question. – Philipp May 14 '18 at 11:16
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TL;DR: No.

In the United States, schools tend to be funded by property taxes locally, occasionally with an added income tax. Those funds go to the schools' local taxing authority. That taxing authority may cover multiple schools. At minimum, it will almost certainly cover an elementary school and a high school, but it often covers multiple elementary schools and may cover multiple high schools. For example, in many cities, all public (government-run) schools are funded by the same taxing authority.

If you had children, you might, in some places, be able to choose the school they attended and thereby direct some money to that school or schools. But that wouldn't be related to the amount that you paid in any way. That amount may be more or less than the amount that you pay. It would have some relation to the amount that the child pays.

There is no way to redirect the funds that you pay. They always go to the local taxing authority. If you want to pay a different local taxing authority, then you need to buy your property in an area covered by that taxing authority. For example, you might prefer to live in the city rather than a suburb.

You can donate additional money above and beyond your taxes to an individual school. Contact the individual school for details. But this won't change the taxes that you owe.

Schools also get funding from the state and federal governments, mostly state. Given that you are subject to taxation by a particular state, you can't transfer those taxes either. Same thing with the US as a whole. It won't allow you to choose to pay your income taxes to a different country without changing your residence (and might not then).

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    Would the donations be tax-deductible? If so the donations may have tax implications: They could change the amount of tax owed. – James K May 14 '18 at 12:37
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    @JamesK Donations would sometimes be made directly to a public school or more often to a 501(c)(3) foundation that supports a public school often managed by a local Parent-Teacher Association. Those donations would be tax deductible. – ohwilleke May 14 '18 at 15:28

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