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 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.
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.