DLGF approves wording of referendum questions

The Indiana Department of Local Government and Finance has officially approved wording of the two ballot questions that the Huntington County Community School Corporation wants to put on the ballot for voters’ consideration in the Nov. 5 election.

The first question, as it will appear on the ballot, is:

“For the eight (8) calendar years immediately following the holding of the referendum, shall the Huntington County Community School Corporation impose a property tax rate that does not exceed six cents ($0.06) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation and that is in addition to all other property taxes imposed by the school corporation for the purpose of funding academic and educationally-related programs, managing class sizes, school safety initiatives, and attracting and retaining teachers?”

The second question is:

“Shall Huntington Co-unty Community School Corporation issue bonds or enter into a lease to finance the 2020 Safety, Security, Replacement, and Restoration Project, which includes the renovation of and improvements to Huntington North High School, and other related campus improvements, which is estimated to cost not more than $68,480,000 and is estimated to increase the property tax rate for debt service by a maximum of $0.3381 per $100 of assessed valuation?”

All registered voters living in Huntington County will be able to weigh in on these questions when they go to vote. However, that may be the only two items on which they may vote. Only those registered voters living in the municipal boundaries of Huntington and the towns of Andrews, Markle, Roanoke and Warren will have municipal candidates to vote on as well.

Election Deputy Yvette Runkle says when voters go to a vote center they will be given the ballot that coincides with their area of residence.

The questions are both nearly identical to those presented by HCCSC during public meetings held in June. In the first question, also known as the Operating Question, the word “property” is added to the phrase “all other property taxes imposed by the school corporation.”

On Question No. 2, also known as the Project Question, the tax rate wording has been changed from $0.33, which was presented during the public forum meetings to $0.3381 per $100 of assessed valuation. However, the higher amount was the one listed on the project resolution that was adopted by the school board at its June 20 special meeting.

School Superintendent Chad Daugherty says he hopes voters understand why HCCSC is presenting the referendum questions to them.

“We had a lot of questions about the ‘why,’ and why we’re doing it, and I think people understand now the ‘why,’” he said. “This will be good to have that on the ballot there in November so that everybody can have an opportunity to vote for it.”

Daugherty added that now there’s not much else for the district to do except wait for Election Day.

“We’re just excited to get the two questions on the ballot and let our community be able to speak on Nov. 5,” he said.