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Tax bills, school expansion in Hamilton Co. at stake in Tuesday votes

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HAMILTON CO.– Voters have until 6 p.m. Tuesday to vote in two Hamilton County referenda that could shape the size of school classrooms, as well as homeowners’ future tax bills.

In Hamilton Southeastern Schools, voters are deciding on a $95 million referendum that would expand Hamilton Southeastern and Fishers high schools.  Each school would be able to fit 1,000 more students, if the issue passes.

The alternative, according to school officials, would have been to spend $125 million on a new, third high school.

Hamilton Southeastern Schools said the tax bill on a home valued at $195,000 would not see a tax increase, due to old debt coming off the books.  A home valued at $230,000 or more would see an increase.

In Noblesville, a $28 million referendum would have a domino affect.  First, it would expand the high school and allow the freshmen to return to the main campus.  Then, the Noblesville East Middle School students would move into the freshmen campus.  Lastly, Hamilton County would buy the middle school building and lease it to Ivy Tech Community College, which would create a new campus at the site.

A home valued at $200,000 would see a tax increase of about $44 per year.

Polling places opened at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.

The Hamilton County Clerk’s Office said more than 700 voters took advantage of the early voting opportunity.