The Starke County Farm Bureau organization has come out against the Oregon-Davis school referendum scheduled for a vote on May 8th. Farm Bureau President, Brad Lawrence, explains the reason why the organization chooses to oppose the referendum.
“It’s a general policy from the Farm Bureau that we do not like to see an issue always being piled on property tax. So from along those lines, we have to oppose any issue that is strictly property tax,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence said a farmer would pay an additional $2.87 per acre, while the average homeowner would only pay $31.53 more each year. Farmers who own more than 11 acres probably with no demands for school services would pay more than those owning a family residence where many children might reside.
A release stated that the members do not think it is reasonable to ask taxpayers to give $400,000 more of their hard earned money toward their school corporation through a question on a referendum in the May 8th election. Farm Bureau policy states that localities should find ways other than property taxes to fund public projects, and in keeping with the policy they urge voters in May to not support the referendum.
The base value of farmland is going up 16.27% between pay 2011 and pay 2012, with another 9% increase for pay in 2013.
Lawrence said he and the members are not against the Oregon-Davis School system, though.
“We’re all in favor of O.D. staying independent. Its a great school. But from a policy standpoint, our policy states that we will not support anything that is strictly on property tax.”
There are 1,493 members in Starke County, and those in the Oregon-Davis district are being asked through a letter to go to the polls to oppose the measure.