Munster residents to vote May 7 on school referendum

2013-02-19T17:30:00Z 2013-02-19T20:41:18Z Munster residents to vote May 7 on school referendumBill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
February 19, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | The Lake County elections board voted Tuesday to hold a special election May 7 in Munster for a referendum to raise money for the town's school district.

The five-member board approved a request by the School Town of Munster to open polling places for voter approval of a plan to raise property taxes within Munster.

The district wants to raise taxes 19.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to generate $3 million a year for seven years. For a home valued at $244,835, the tax increase would be $253 more per year, or $21.04 per month. For a home valued at $300,000, the tax increase would be $324 more per year, or $26.99 a month.

Superintendent Richard Sopko said he has held meetings with residents, business owners, politicians and others to explain the need for a general fund referendum.

The district is among the lowest funded in the state at $4,750 per student, he said. The school district has lost $4.5 million over the last three years in funding because of state property tax policy. The district has made numerous cuts, and any future cuts will mean fewer teachers, crowded classrooms and cuts in programs, Sopko said.

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