Delaware Public Media

Indian River residents vote on second try referendum

Mar 1, 2017

Indian River School District residents are being asked again to approve a tax referendum.

Last November, a tax hike designed to bring an additional $7.4 million to the district’s operating budget failed by a mere 30 votes.

The proposal before voters Thursday is the same as that November ask - a tax increase of 49 cents per $100 of assessed property value, which will add a little over $95 to the average district taxpayer’s annual bill.

But the circumstances have changed. The narrow November loss came less than a week after a state auditor’s report detailed financial mismanagement by a former district administrator.  This week, the auditor’s office offered a follow up report lauding the district for addressing the issues it raised last year.

District officials say the new funds would pay for additional staff and resources needed to respond steady enrollment growth since 2010 – including nearly 300 more students this school year.

If voters don’t approve the referendum – officials say the district could be forced to lay off more than 100 staff members, make cuts to school safety and more.

Indian River School District residents last approved a referendum in 2013.

Polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  You can learn more about where to vote here.