Have you noticed these green signs all over Valpo asking you to Vote Yes and wondered why? It’s been eight years since the Valparaiso School Corporation passed a GENERAL FUND Referendum to increase the tax rate above the standard Indiana Property Tax Cap. Even though the school district could ask the State of Indiana For funding from their billion Dollar Surplus, the School Corporation has chosen to go back to the voters to “continue” the 2015 GENERAL FUND tax increase.
Turns Out the Property taxes include:
* Capital Improvement Bond for Schools of 2015 for 20 years
* General Fund Taxes for Schools
* Small Amounts for Township, City, County, Library and Police.
The 2015 Capital Improvement Bond of 2015 was the LARGEST BOND ISSUED IN THE STATE OF INDIANA.
Although the Valparaiso School General Fund Referendum is asking for a lower rate than 2015 (and some folks are calling this a “TAX DECREASE,) whether it’s a tax decrease is up to the voter to decide, although it’s very intentionally confusing, complicated and compounded. Back in 2015 the property tax rate for General Fund was increased to $0.2042 and now in 2022 the General Fund TAX INCREASE they are asking for is $0.1495. The minimum rate that the state of Indiana requires is $0.01, making this referendum $0.1395 or 13.95 % higher than the State of Indiana requirement. (The 2015 rate was 19.42 % higher than the Tax Cap)
The referendum is actually asking for A CONTINUANCE of the Tax Increase established in 2015, even though it happens to be lower than the 2015 referendum.
According to the State of Indiana’s Constitution residents are prevented from paying more than $2,000 in property taxes on a $200,000 home in a year – or 1%. That’s no random limit. Under property tax caps, governments cannot collect more than one percent of the “gross assessed value” of a piece of homestead property. The Indiana Property Tax caps were created in 1998 to prevent wild swings in property assessments that were taking place.
As quoted from the State of Indiana Department of Local Government Finance Commission “The property tax increase requested in this referendum was originally approved by the voters in May, 2015, and originally increased the average property tax paid to the school corporation per year on a residence within the school corporation by 23.4%.”
According to the Porter County Auditor, the “Overall” 2022 Property Tax Estimate of the Average Percent Increase in Taxes (item 10) states “The estimated average percent increase in taxes, as certified by the Porter County Auditor under IC 20-46-1-10(e), is 23.4% for homesteads and 19.4% for business property.”
Just in case you may be confused now,
HERE’S WHAT IT WILL STATE ON THE BALLOT:
“Shall Valparaiso Community Schools continue to impose increased property taxes paid to the school corporation by homeowners and business for eight (8) years immediately following the holding of the referendum for the purpose of managing class sizes and essential health & safety initiatives, retaining teachers and staff, funding academic and educationally related programs and changing the maximum operating referendum tax levy fund rate from $0.2042 to $0.1495 per one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation? The property tax increase requested in this referendum was originally approved by the voters in May, 2015, and originally increased the average property tax paid to the school corporation per year on a residence within the school corporation by 23.4% and originally increased the average property tax paid to the school corporation per year on a business property within the school corporation by 19.4%.”
Here’s where Your Property Tax Money Goes in Valparaiso:
1.1535 % of assessed value goes to schools
0.4452% goes to the county
0.2854 % goes to the city
0.0678 % Goes to the library
0.0095 % goes to the special unit
0.0249% goes to the Township
2022: 1.9106 %
1.0923 % of assessed value goes to Schools
0.4364% goes to the county
0.2816 % goes to the city
0.0664 % Goes to the library
0.0093 % goes to the special unit
0.0246% goes to Center Township
PLEASE NOTE: All percentages went down in 2022, but the overall tax is increasing.
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