The School City of Mishawaka School Board approved a proposal Monday to pose two referenda during the November election. If passed, the referenda would add $1.8 million to the district’s general fund and $13 million to improve infrastructure at the district’s schools.
Posing both a capital projects and general fund referenda is rare, with many districts choosing to pick only one for a better chance it will pass.
The district posed a referenda in 2013, asking for $28 million, which overwhelmingly failed.
Kim Kilbride of the South Bend Tribune reports what both of these referenda would cost taxpayers in the district:
If both referendums pass, the owner of a home with an assessed value of $100,000 would pay an additional $134.66 per year until 2023. From 2024 to 2032, the tax impact would decline to $54.95 per year for the same homeowner.
Referenda are becoming a more popular way for district’s to increase their revenue stream, after property tax caps went into place in 2008 and the 2015 General Assembly passed a new school funding formula.
Now that the funding from the state to public schools is decreasing for some district’s, referenda are one of the few ways a school district can increase its funding streams. In the last few elections, the passage rate has increased as districts spend more time and money from their PACs to inform the public of what the referendum would fund.