TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — This November, Vigo County voters will choose “yes” or “no” on a tax levy increase to cover school costs.
Following a unanimous vote by the school board, the Vigo County School Corporation filed a referendum request with the Vigo County Election Board July 18.
Monday, the board officially approved placing the referendum on the ballot.
The VCSC began discussing the tax levy referendum in June as a way to address a deficit in the school’s budget.
According to Superintendent Dr. Robert Haworth, the school has been in deficit spending since 2016, resulting in a cash balance decline of more than $8 million.
Haworth noted several factors have led to the deficit, including a decline in student enrollment and decreased funding from the state and federal government.
The school has hosted a series of community meetings to discuss the possible tax levy.
If the referendum passes, it would result in a 16.2 cent tax rate increase for eight years. Haworth explained that the increase would result in an approximate $53 increase for property owners with a home value of $100,000.
“As long as it does and it goes to benefiting our community and helping people get an education,” said resident Will Gregson, “Then yes.”
In addition to approving the referendum, the election board came up with a title for it: “Referendum #2: Vigo County School Corporation Tax Levy.”
Vigo County residents will vote “yes” or “no” to the following question:
For the eight (8) calendar years immediately following the holding of the referendum, shall Vigo County School Corporation impose a property tax rate that does not exceed sixteen and twenty-two hundredths cents ($0.1622) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation and that is in addition to all other property taxes imposed by the school corporation for the purpose of funding safe transportation of students, to maintain safe and secure schools, reduce class sizes and attract and retain the very best teachers and staff for our children?”
The first referendum on the ballot will be related to the proposed casino.
“Everyone needs to get out and vote on the referendum questions. Because it does impact you know Vigo County,” said Vigo County Chief Deputy Clerk LeAnna Moore. “Not just the city of Terre Haute, but the entire county.”
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