- Associated Press - Sunday, November 27, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana school referendums are passing at higher rates than before as all but three of the 20 ballot questions in this year’s primary and general elections were successful.

Voters said yes in November to raising taxes or keeping tax hikes in place to support day-to-day operations and construction projects in nine of 10 cases, the Indianapolis Business Journal (https://bit.ly/2gfdG7S) reported.

Some advocates said the referendums are a sign that Indiana’s schools aren’t being funded adequately and taxpayers are willing to pay more. Others said it shows Indiana property tax caps are having the intended effect of making voters directly responsible for tax hikes.

Washington Township Schools parent and volunteer Kristina Frey said the ballot success “shows a pretty clear mandate that our voters do want to support schools and an increased understanding of the fact that school funding has changed and that it is now up to the communities to fill the gaps in funding from the state.” She added that she would prefer to have the state provide adequate funding without going through the referendum process.

The 85 percent success rate is the highest since the votes became a more popular tool for schools after property tax caps were instituted in 2008.

The caps are supposed to limit the total property taxes that homeowners and businesses must pay, however this can reduce revenue to taxing units like schools. If approved in a referendum, taxes can go above the caps.

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Information from: Indianapolis Business Journal, https://www.ibj.com


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