Hamilton Community Schools sets tax rate for referendum proposal

The school board approved a ballot question with a tax rate to not be more than 44 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Posted: Jul 15, 2019 9:40 PM
Updated: Jul 15, 2019 11:18 PM

HAMILTON, Ind. (WFFT) - Hamilton Community Schools will ask voters to approve another referendum similar to one that already passed.

The school board approved a ballot question with a tax rate to not be more than 44 cents per $100 of assessed value.

That is the same rate voters in the district approved in 2012.

"We crunched our numbers and we feel confident we can operate at that 44 cents," said Superintendent Tony Cassel.

Voters rejected a 71 cent tax rate last year, so Cassel went to work cutting as many expenses as possible.

"Our goal is to continue to be fiscally conservative. We obviously need to take care of our teachers, who are dedicated, from a pay standpoint," he said.

Cassel said the district is now only spending about 70% of its budget, which helped lower the proposal which would carry the district for another eight years.

However, if voters reject the operating referendum, the current one will expire December 31 and the district will close in May.

"It would be a sad day to drive by and see the doors locked up, lights off and the lawn not mowed," said Cassel.

People living in the district have told FOX 55 they aren't sure they will support the referendum because they don't feel the district with 301 students has the same offerings as neighborhing schools.

However, Cassel said he knows people voted "no" in 2018 plan to vote "yes" for this referendum.

The question now goes to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance for final approval.

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