A bill aimed at equalizing property taxes that would take from tax-base-rich districts and give to the tax-poor schools passed the House Revenue and Taxation Committee Thursday.

Tilton's HB383 would require school districts in counties of the first- through third-class pool property-tax revenues for equalization purposes. Those districts would be: Tooele, South Summit, Park City, North Summit, Logan, Iron, Cache, Box Elder, Weber, Washington, Provo, Ogden, Nebo, Davis, Alpine, Salt Lake City, Murray, east-Jordan, west-Jordan and Granite, Tilton said. About half would pull out more money than they put in, he said.

It would do basically the same thing as HB48, sans a $28.7 million price tag aimed at padding the Capitol Outlay building aid program and the Enrollment Growth Program. But with the latest decreased revenue estimates some lawmakers say the hefty appropriation could be a hard sell.

So Tilton's bill was crafted as a back-up.

He said that in the last few months a task force has examined a number of equalization measures — which are being proposed on the Hill — and Tilton said he would support all three of them.

The issue all stems from the Jordan School District split.

When east-side voters in November voted to secede, they took more than half the state's largest school district's tax base, but fewer than half of its students. That leaves the fast-growing west side, where some elementary schools enroll more than 1,000 children, without enough money to pay for needed buildings.

Legislators and split advocates saw that coming and held task force meetings on how to handle "building equalization" — an issue several long wanted to address since late spring.

School districts with thriving businesses and expensive houses generally have more money to build schools so lawmakers want to equalize funding for capital costs.

E-mail: terickson@desnews.com