Rumors of a special session this summer are already swirling after a Thursday hiccup in the state leadership's efforts to reduce property taxes. Both the House and Senate had planned to bring up the tax bills (HB 2 and SB 2, respectively) Thursday for floor debate, but conversations between state leaders and among other key legislators appeared to stall out and neither body considered the issue.

In a surprise move Wednesday, the state’s top three leaders announced support for a “tax swap” that would increase the state sales tax by a penny (from 6.25% to 7.25%) and use the revenue to reduce school property taxes. Because this would require a constitutional amendment, a two-thirds vote in each chamber would be necessary to put such a proposal on a statewide ballot.

In the Senate, where 19 votes are needed to begin debate, Republican Kel Seliger appears to continue to oppose SB 2 over concern that the proposal would hamper the ability of local governments, including school districts, to raise needed revenues. With all 12 Democrats and Seliger (the Republicans' "19th vote") opposing the bill in its current form, it cannot be brought to the floor. In the House, around 180 amendments to HB 2 have been proposed, and whether the bill can garner the necessary support will depend largely on how much the bill is revised through the amendment process. One area of contention between key lawmakers is whether to exclude school districts from the bill.