It could soon cost more to live in one of the fastest growing areas of the state. Hamilton Southeastern wants to raise property taxes to keep up with all the growth.
Most would agree something needs to be done, but a $95 million pricetag is too steep for some. The population growth on the northeast side has been well documented.
“People have asked, ‘How do you know you are going to have this many kids coming into the system?’ These kids are already here,” said Hamilton Southeastern Superintendent Dr. Brian Smith
Two schools are bursting at the seams, the school system is asking its residents for $95 million to ease the swelling.
“If we do not pass this referendum, we are going to need about 84 portable classrooms at our buildings,” said Smith. “That is our next option. People have asked, ‘What happens if the referendum does not pass?’ It is really that serious.
School officials said the money builds classrooms for an extra 2,000 students between the two high schools. The money would also pay for a number of other programs in facilities already in place.
“We want to maintain the very best in schools for our community, and sometimes that does attract people and promote growth, so be it,” said Smith. “We still want to maintain excellence.”
For homes $195,000 and less, the tax impact is nothing. The more a home is worth, the more taxes increase per month. Some who live in Fishers say it is worth it.
“I am proud of everything that I have seen happen so far, and I am confident they will be responsible for these children,” said one Fishers resident.
George Lukes asked a lot of questions at forum on Wednesday night. His biggest concern is if the school district follow through if the people in Fishers agree to “vote yes.”
“We just need to make sure we hold our administrators to a financial forecasting and make sure they deliver on what they say,” said Lukes.
No matter which side of the issue residents are on, they have the final say.
“I think it is good,” said Lukes. “It makes all the voters come out and make a decision.”
The referendum vote is set for May 7. More information is available online: www.hsepac.org