Monday, September 9, 2013

Star-Press Reports Residents Speak Out on Muncie "Bus Referendum"

From the Muncie Star-Press:

As the Muncie Community Schools “bus referendum” vote nears, more people are speaking out on both sides of the issue.

Some say it’s an issue of child safety and education. Others say it’s an unnecessary dip into the pockets of taxpayers.

The seven-year $6.5 million referendum will keep the school buses running after the 2013-14 school year. Without it, MCS Supt. Tim Heller says, bus service will stop.

The district is asking for an increase of 39 cents on each $100 of assessed property value. That would be an additional $65 dollars a year on a $75,000 home (the average home value in Center Township, according to census reports).

The actual wording on the ballot will be: “"For the seven calendar years immediately following the hold of the referendum, shall the Muncie Community Schools impose a property tax rate that does not exceed 39.39 ($0.3939) cents on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation and that is in addition to all other property tax levies imposed by the Muncie Community Schools.”

The district will spend about $40,000 (the exact number will not be known until after the vote) on the referendum, for polling sites and staffing. District officials said that the special election was necessary in order to prevent a “gap” in bus service.

The voting precincts — a list was released recently — have been consolidated to allow for fewer locations and fewer poll workers.

“It remains to be seen how this will impact voter turnout,” Burkhart said.

See the full article here: