A proposal moving forward at the Statehouse would allow school districts to ask voters for a property tax increase specifically to pay for school safety projects.
School corporations can ask voters to approve two types of referenda, to fund construction projects or, general operations.
Many districts have included school safety improvements as part of the reason for their referendum proposals, along with other expenses like teacher pay, but the House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill this week to let schools ask for tax hikes for safety costs alone.
Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) authored the bill and announced he would make the move last summer. He said in a hearing last month it should be an option even if not all schools want to use it.
“This isn’t intended to be an answer for all school corporations,” he says, “but I think there are a fair number who could utilize it.”
House Ways and Means co-chair Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) voted in favor of the bill in committee, but says creating a third referendum option may be unnecessary.
“At this time I feel this bill is a little bit redundant because we do have an operating and construction levy referendums out there,” he says.
The bill now heads to the House floor.