North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation officials say taxpayers within the corporation will see less of an increase in years two through seven if a general fund referendum is approved.
Language on the ballot has raised questions among voters. It states: “For the 7 calendar year or years immediately following the holding of the referendum, shall the North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation impose a property tax rate that does not exceed forty-seven and a half cents ($0.475) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation and that is in addition to all other property tax levies imposed by the North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation for the purpose of funding the general operation of the school corporation.”
WKVI news sought clarification of this language. Superintendent Lynn Johnson tells us the corporation intends to repurpose funds in years two through seven, should the tax pass, in order to lower the rate. Money generated from the tax would be used in the first year to shore up the general fund. After that she says the rate will decrease by 20-cents to $0.277 per $100 of assessed valuation due to the repurposing of debt service.
The referendum calculator on the Department of Local Government Finance website estimates a maximum total tax on a $100,000 owner-occupied residence (homestead property) which qualifies for the homestead, supplemental homestead and mortgage deductions to be $1,089 over seven years, or an increase of $156 annually. The numbers on the website reflect the $0.475 rate. Tax exemptions are also available for property owners age 65 and older.
Other residential properties will be taxed at 2 percent, and agricultural properties will be taxed at 3 percent, under the proposal.
The school district includes Wayne, Jackson, Railroad and California Township Precinct 2 in Starke County and Cass and Rich Grove Townships in Pulaski County.