Indiana’s May school referendums failed at their highest rate in 8 years. – Arika Herron – Indianapolis Star

A new elementary school, school safety projects and money to raise teacher pay were some of proposals voters saw – and rejected – on ballots around the state this week.

As more districts take property tax hikes to voters, the formula for passing school referendums in Indiana may be faltering. Two election cycles of lower-than-expected pass rates have one economist wondering if it’s just a blip or a new trend, as the number of districts that can get a referendum passed starts to plateau.

“It’s low, especially for a May election,” said Larry DeBoer an economist at Purdue University who studies government public policy and keeps a close watch on school referendums. “It’s the smallest percentage of winners in a May election since May 2011.”

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Tracking how central Indiana schools are spending tax referendums – Stephanie Wade – RTV6

INDIANAPOLIS — Next month schools will once again ask you to approve money requests on your May ballot. 

As we saw in last year’s elections, passing school referendums can be a hotly contested issue. But when it came down to it, voters mostly backed the schools. 

What was promised to voters in many referendums was to better pay teachers and increased security inside their buildings. RTV6 followed up with several districts that asked for millions of dollars from taxpayers to see if they’ve accomplished what they said they would

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Why you’ll likely pay more in property taxes this year – Mary Milz – WTHR.com

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — If you own a home, you’ll soon be getting your property tax bill. Just a head’s up: When you open up your bill you may get hit with a bit of “sticker shock.”

According to the Marion County Treasurer’s Office, 86 percent of homeowners will pay more in property taxes than they did last year. How much more? It depends on several things, including where you live. But bottom line? Deputy Treasurer Joshua Peters said Marion County homeowners are looking at an average increase of roughly eight percent.

“Property values continue to rise as the real estate market continued to do better,” Peters said. That makes for a bigger bill for homeowners.

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Merrillville community center could be partially funded by $14.9 million bond – Chas Reilly – KokomoPerspective.com

MERRILLVILLE — The estimated cost to construct a new community center hasn’t been determined, but town officials have been discussing a potential bond issue to help fund the development.

Recent discussions have involved pursuing a tax increment financing district bond of $14.9 million.

Town Council President Richard Hardaway said Merrillville hasn’t finalized the amount of the potential bond because town leaders are waiting for a final cost estimate for the construction of the center that will be located on land Merrillville has acquired in the 6600 block of Broadway.

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Lake County is sending out the 2018 tax bills…a little something extra in Hammond & Lowell’s bills… – Bill Dolan – NWITimes.com

CROWN POINT — Residents of Hammond and Lowell will see a bump in their 2018 tax statements, which are being mailed out this week.

Lake County Treasurer Peggy Katona said more than 200,000 bills, coming due next month, are on their way.

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Lake County tax case dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction – Olivia Covington – Indiana Lawyer.com

A northern Indiana trial court must dismiss a case it originally transferred to the Indiana Tax Court, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday after finding insufficient evidence to prove the tax court’s jurisdiction.

After the Department of Local Government Finance issued its first “weighed average” township assistance property tax rate in 2015, the town of Griffith sought to transfer out of Calumet Township under Indiana Code section 36-1-1.5-2. That section, enacted in 2013, allows “eligible municipalities” to transfer to an adjacent township if their original township has a township assistance property tax rate that is 12 times higher than the statewide average.

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NACS has signatures for project – Ashley Sloboda – The Journal Gazette

Northwest Allen County Schools continues to check off boxes as it works to place a $34 million referendum for a new elementary school and other improvements on the May ballot.

Community members are also stepping up to help with the referendum efforts.

The 7,500-student district wants to build an elementary school to accommodate growth. It has gained about 500 elementary students since 2009-10 and expects to add nearly 350 more by 2022-23, a recent demographic study found.

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3 Hamilton County school districts pass referendums – IndyStar – Emma Kate Fittes

Voters in three Hamilton County cities passed public school referendums to pay for building expansion in Westfield and teachers and programs in Carmel and Sheridan.

Only 10 of the more than 300 districts in Indiana asked voters to approve a raise in property taxes to benefit the schools during this special election. Three of them — Carmel Clay, Westfield-Washington and Sheridan Community Schools — are in Hamilton County. The area has a precedent for supporting referendums.

Read more…http://www.indystar.com/story/news/local/hamilton-county/2017/05/02/3-hamilton-county-school-districts-pass-referendums/101195884/

 

Proposed legislation on school spending causing battle in Clark Co. – Andrea Centlivre – Wave3News

CLARK COUNTY, IN (WAVE) – A School District in Indiana is in the middle of a battle for signature against community members throughout Clark County.

Greater Clark County Schools wants $22 million for school improvements, but some oppose the property tax rate increase that would result from allowing Greater Clark to borrow the money.

Now, there is a new bill in the Indiana legislature that could completely change the way schools spend money – House Bill 1043.

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Two local school districts will pose referendums – Carmen McCollum – Kokomo Perspective

The School City of East Chicago will join the School Town of Munster this May in asking voters to pay higher taxes to fund those respective school districts.

East Chicago is asking voters for additional money to boost its operating fund. Munster is asking for two referendums — a general fund referendum to assist the operating budget and a construction referendum to renovate school buildings.

Read More…http://kokomoperspective.com/politics/indiana/two-local-school-districts-will-pose-referendums/article_50fbf902-91cb-5fc0-9b23-10c4807ac398.html