The North Judson School Board unanimously approved a resolution requesting a property tax levy referendum during their most recent meeting. The board has recently received some criticism about doing this now rather than during a regular election year.
Superintendent Lynn Johnson discussed the importance of implementing this referendum as soon as possible, “If we do not do it in this fall, and waited until May or the following November when there are elections scheduled we would not get any new monies until July first of 2017 and that is way too late because we would not have the money that we need to get through 2016.”
The referendum itself will need public approval when it goes to the ballot in November of this year. Johnson wanted to make it very clear that though the price is initially higher it will decrease during the 7 years the referendum is in place, “The referendum amount for year one is 47 cents per that $100 unit. Now years 2 through 7 our debt service levy is paid off so since that is paid off we can re purpose that debt and will reduce that 47 cents to 27 cents.”
Superintendent Johnson said that this whole process will cost approximately $28,000. The school has employed the council of Umbaugh and Associates to prepare tax information and comparisons for $6,000. The School’s Bond Council is Thomas Peterson who works with the school through the Department of Local Government Finance. Curt Pletcher has been hired to assist with consulting services and political strategy. Both men are being paid $5,000 each. The remaining $12,000 will be spent for various election costs such as renting out required voting spaces, hiring workers and other costs associated with the election itself. The campaigning efforts and public education prior to the election must be funded through the Political Action Committee, rather than through the school.