Medora board passes 2023 budget, announces referendum

MEDORA — Carr Township residents planning to vote in the Nov. 8 general election will find a public question on the ballot concerning the 2023 Medora Community School Corp. budget.

Approval of that question by voters would allow the corporation to increase property taxes paid to the corporation by homeowners and businesses for the next eight years.

If the public question is approved by the voters, the average property tax paid to the school corporation per year on a residence would increase by 33.26%, and the average property tax paid to the school corporation per year on a business property within the school corporation would increase by 26.99%.

The revenue increase would be used to help with transportation of students, attracting and retaining certified and classified staff and improve and expand academic programs and educational offerings.

The referendum is being sought to offset the estimated loss of revenues due to the application of circuit breaker tax caps. The caps, put in place with the 2010 property tax bills, ensure that a property owner does not pay more than a fixed percent of the property’s gross assessed value after exemptions in taxes, but the caps do not change the local tax rate, according to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.

Superintendent Roger Bane talked about the referendum while presenting the 2023 budget for approval by the board of trustees during Monday’s school board meeting.

As adopted by the board, the $2.79 million budget includes an education budget of $1,445,640; an operations budget of $664,725; a debt service budget of $429,857; a rainy day fund of $18,571; and a school pension debt fund of $34,164. The state pays for the education fund with revenue from a variety of sources, including income and sales taxes.

The funds receive property tax revenues of $1,022,775 or other sources. The adopted tax levy requires $2.702 tax rate on $100 per assessed valuation.

The referendum, if passed, would fund an additional $197,200 for the operating fund.

Bane said the advertised tax rate is about 20 cents more than was advertised a year ago.

“That also includes that 50-cent referendum,” he said. “So if that doesn’t pass, our advertised tax rate is going to be about 30 cents lower than it was last year.”

Trustees approved the 2023 budget by a 4-0 vote.