Q: Since our community already voted to support the referendum in 2012, why is another vote necessary?
A: The referendum passed by our community in 2012 will expire this year because state law limits the duration of our referendum to seven years. By law, the continuation of our referendum requires another public vote. The vote to sustain the current referendum rate through the continuation of our referendum will be held on May 7.
Q: How many Indiana school corporations have sought a public referendum in order to financially support their schools?
A: Over the last decade, 84% of Indiana public school corporations have sought a local referendum through their communities in order to provide additional funding for their schools.
Q: Have any other regional school corporations chosen to seek a referendum to financially support their community's public schools?
A: Yes. Many regional communities, such as, Munster, Hammond, Hobart, Crown Point, Hebron, Valparaiso, and Lake Central have all passed a referendum to provide additional funding for their schools.
Q: I often hear 22 cents mentioned in reference to the amount that the taxpayer pays for the referendum. What exactly is that 22 cents?
A: In 2012, Duneland voters passed a referendum that resulted in an annual tax collection of up to 22 cents per $100 of assessed value on property. For the median home value in Duneland of $183,500, with the standard homestead and mortgage reductions, the 22 cents collection results in $15.96 per month of referendum funding for our schools.
Q: When does the community vote on this referendum?
A: The vote for the continuation of the referendum will be held on the May 7 Primary Election.
Q: When do voters have to be registered by in order to vote on the referendum question?
A: Voters must be registered by April 8, 2019. If you will be 18 years old by the November 5, 2019, you can vote in the May 7 Primary Election, as long as you register to vote by April 8, 2019.
Q: How do I know if I am registered to vote?
A: Visit www.indianavoters.in.gov to check your voter registration status. You can also register to vote through this site. You can confirm your registration status by clicking “Check Voting Status.” It is not commonly known that if it has been four years since you last voted you are removed from the voter rolls in Indiana. If you have been removed from the voter rolls, you must re-register to vote by April 8, 2019, in order to vote in the May 7 Primary Election.
Q: Sometimes these public questions can have strange wording on the ballot. What exactly will the phrasing of the public question be on the ballot for the continuation of the referendum?
A: “For the seven (7) calendar years immediately following the holding of the referendum, shall the Duneland School Corporation continue to impose a property tax that does not exceed twenty-two cents ($0.22) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation for the purpose of funding and maintaining the current educational and operational programs including school safety and building security, compensating teachers and staff, maintaining class sizes and other educational or operational needs of the Corporation? The tax rate requested in this referendum was originally approved by the voters in Duneland School Corporation in 2012”
Q: Why a May vote for the renewal of the referendum?
A: May referendum vote allows the school corporation to prepare its calendar-year budget for the
upcoming year knowing if the referendum funds will be a part of that budget or not. A May referendum
allows for the continuity of operations or an orderly transition if reductions in spending must be made.
Indiana state regulations govern when school budgets must be completed, advertised, reviewed in a
public hearing, approved by the local school board and submitted for certification to the Indiana
Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF). By no later than November 1, 2019, a local school
board must have approved its 2020 calendar year budget (IC 6-1.1-17-5(a)).
Knowing in May 2019 if adjustments must be made for the 2019-2020 school year is preferable to
starting the 2019-2020 school year in August and finding out on November 5, after the budget is
submitted to the State, that changes and cuts must be made to people and programs in January 2020.
Q: Where can I find additional information about the referendum?
A: The Duneland School Corporation website has a “Referendum” informational tab available for our community. This informational tab includes a Tax Calculator link that uses the assessed valuation of a property to calculate the impact of the proposed continuation of the referendum. Since this vote is for the continuation of our current referendum, the amount shown on the calculator does not indicate an increase in taxes. The amount shown on the calculator indicates what you currently invest for the referendum and what you would continue to invest going forward with a continuation of the referendum.
The "Referendum Tab" also includes a “Using Your Tax Dollars Wisely” link (found here). This link explains how the Duneland School Corporation has invested and worked to become more efficient with your tax dollars.
There are also four public informational meetings scheduled for our community to hear more information and ask questions about our schools and the continuation of the referendum. The meetings dates are...
- Monday, February 11, Westchester Public Library, Baugher Center, 7:00 pm
- Thursday, March 21, Duneland Schools Administration Center, 2:00 pm
- Wednesday, April 3, Westchester Public Library, Baugher Center, 2:00 pm
- Tuesday, April 23, Liberty Intermediate Media Center, 7:00 pm