Voters to see BCSC tax hike referendum on primary election ballot

Voters throughout the Bartholomew Consolidated School district will see a property tax hike on their May primary ballot. That’s after the school board approved the tax hike last night.

The property tax increase would add  15.6 cents per $100 of assessed value on a property, or less than $95 a year for the average home owner in the school district. If approved by voters the money raised would go to increase salaries for teachers and staff and to improve school safety.

School officials say that none of the funds would go to raises for school administrators.

Five residents gave their opinions to the school board last night, with three speaking in favor of the referendum and two speaking against the tax increase. Opponents said they were concerned about the effect on budgets for seniors and retirees on fixed incomes. And an opponent questioned how the district chooses to spend taxpayers’ money.

The proposed referendum question now goes to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance for approval, including the wording of the question. Assistant Superintendent for Finance Chad Phillips said last night that the actual phrasing is mandated by statute and the state provides a prepared format the referendum must follow.