Monroe County Community School Corporation superintendent Jeff Hauswald (May 23, 2023)
Monroe County Community School Corporation board president Brandon Shurr (May 23, 2023)
No referendum to increase property taxes has yet been placed on the Nov. 7 ballot by the Monroe County Community School corporation board.
But at its Tuesday night meeting, the board voted unanimously to pass a resolution authorizing district superintendent Jeff Hauswald to consult with Monroe County auditor Cathy Smith about the calculations that would go into increasing MCCSC’s property tax rate by 8.5 cents.
A press release issued immediately following the board’s meeting says, “In the November 7th election, MCCSC expects to ask voters to approve the rate not to exceed $0.085 per $100 of assessed property value.”
The revenue generated by the additional tax would go towards early childhood education for 3-to-5-year-old children, as well as other initiatives to make education more accessible.
The other initiatives include free instructional technology, supplies, and consumables for all students. Also made free would be Advanced Placement (AP) exams and tests that are needed for workplace certificates. The additional revenue would also mean free career education, including tuition, testing, supplies, and associated fees.
Histogram of net increases in property taxes based on projections of Reedy Financial Group, Bloomington’s consultant.
If Bloomington’s planned annexation is successful, the city will add to its population an estimated 14,000 people, several cows, a pig or two, and at least one chicken, whose “eyes don’t work any more.”
For the hen’s owner, Susan Brackney, the longer phrase in place of a single adjective is a nicer way of describing the bird’s current abilities.
Brackney would prefer that she and the chicken not become a part of the city’s census.
But Bloomington’s annexation plan calls for Area 4, where Brackney and about 400 other people live, to become a part of the city starting on Jan. 1, 2024.
Area 4 is one of eight separate areas that Bloomington wants to annex into the city.
With an Aug. 4 public hearing on the horizon, and a city council vote that will likely come in September, some residents who oppose annexation are using the earlier part of the summer to organize their opposition.
“Bills are out and we are really busy right now,” Monroe County treasurer Jessica McClellan told the Square Beacon on Wednesday.
That means property owners are sending in the taxes they owe, in response to the bills that were due to be sent out a week ago. The deadline for spring tax bills is Monday, May 10.
Property tax season also explains the drop box that’s been placed just to the side of the north entrance of the Monroe County courthouse. The courthouse building is still closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During Friday’s media preview of his proposed budget for next year, Hamilton reflected on this year’s numbers compared to the four budgets he presented in his first term as mayor. “This is my first non-balanced budget,” Hamilton said, “meaning the expenses are higher than the projected revenues.”
Controller Jeff Underwood was on the conference call, so Hamilton was quick to clarify, “in case Jeff falls out of his chair” that the city has sufficient revenues plus reserves to pay for the budget.