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Boone County / Hamilton County / Regional News

Carmel Clay Schools considering May referendum

January 23, 2017

Another Hamilton County school district is considering having a special referendum in May.

Carmel Clay School District Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Wahl made a presentation to the school board Monday night in favor of asking voters to approve an operational tax of 19 cents per $100 of assessed value of their homes beginning in 2018.

The school district estimated the referendum would keep the overall school tax rate flat at 83 cents per $100 of assessed value.

“We’re not asking for any more money,” Wahl said in a written statement. “We just want to keep what we currently have in place. The replacement referendum will not allow us to do anything new. It will simply allow us to continue to do what we do best—fund high quality academic and extracurricular programs and recruit and retain quality teachers and staff.”

Carmel voters approved a seven-year tax hike of 16 cents per $100 of assessed value in a 2010 referendum. That rate is set to expire at the end of the year.

If the May referendum isn’t approved, 260 employees, including teachers, support staff and administration, could lose their jobs, the district said. Class sizes would also increase, elective classes would be reduced, academic programs not required for graduation would be eliminated and extracurricular programs would be cut.

The school board could vote on whether to propose the referendum at its Feb. 13 meeting. The public vote would be May 2.

Westfield Washington Schools has already decided to have a special election the same day to ask voters to approve a referendum that would cover $90 million in construction projects.

The tax rate would be 30.79 cents per $100 of assessed value. For a home valued at $200,000, property taxes would rise $301 annually under the proposal. For a home valued at $300,000, taxes would rise $501.

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