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Brownsburg among several districts asking taxpayers for money

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BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 23, 2015) -- Taxpayers will need to decide whether to check yes or no on their ballots next month, as several districts ask for more money.

In Brownsburg, it will be the first time the district has put a referendum on its ballot.

Principal Bret Daghe showed FOX59 around Brownsburg High School, where science labs are literally falling apart and Daghe said hallways built in the 1970's are much too tight for the growing number of students, among other issues.

"(It's) really, very much about more classroom space for our teachers," Daghe said.

The district wants to renovate the core of its building, plus build a new elementary school, so it is asking for a total of $95 million, split between two referenda items.

"We’ve worked really hard in spite of our facilities to do well for our kids, but at some point in time that catches up with us and I think we’re there now ," Superintendent Dr. Jim Snapp said.

Snapp said the tax levy would average to nearly $8 per household, extending out over 20 years.

Opponents like Terry Laas, though, are installing yard signs and fighting back against the referedum.

"I think we need to come back to the table," Laas said.

Laas pointed to the large debt that will come with the project, coupled with existing debt, as his primary concern.

"We tell our young people, live within your means, control your credit and yet here’s what we’re doing. We’re teaching our children that it’s okay to pay debt with debt," Laas said.

Instead, Laas hoped voters would say no this time and allow the district to come up with a cheaper option.

Snapp, meanwhile, said the district can handle the debt given its yearly $82 million budget.

"I think it’s kind of as a fear tactic to scare some people, so they’re talking about a number that is just completely false," Snapp said.

"This is not scare tactics, we’re about to encumber this community with a debt of one third of a billion dollars," Laas said.

Taxpayers will have the final say on May 5th.

Wayne and Perry Townships, along with Beech Grove Schools and close to a dozen others across the state will ask taxpayers for funding as well.

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