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Boone County / Hamilton County / Regional News

Westfield Washington Schools proposing referendum in November

July 13, 2016

Another school funding referendum is being proposed in Hamilton County.

The Westfield Washington School Board voted Tuesday to put the referendum on November ballots. The school district, which includes about 6,900 students, is proposing a tax hike of 20 cents per $100 of assessed value. For a home valued at $250,000, the new referendum would cost about $260 annually.

The tax rate would actually fall even if the referendum is passed. Voters approved a tax hike of 23 cents per $100 of assessed value in November 2010 and it is set to expire next year. Under the current rate, a homeowner with a $250,000 house pays about $299 annually.

The school district says it needs the funding to keep certain programs in place and maintain class sizes. If the referendum failed, the budget would be cut by $5.5 million annually.

November could be a tough time for the request. Out of 24 previous funding referendums proposed in the state during general elections, only eight passed.

Political action committee Westfield Invest in Quality will be promoting the referendum. The group will be co-chaired by Scott Willis, who unsuccessfully ran against longtime state Sen. Luke Kenley in the May primary election, and Washington Township Trustee Danielle Carey Tolan.

In the spring, voters approved funding referendums for Hamilton Southeastern Schools in Fishers and Noblesville Schools.

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