Munster schools move forward on referendum
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org/648-3154 February 12, 2013 3:54PM
Updated: March 14, 2013 6:35AM
MUNSTER — Struggling with below average state funding, the School Town of Munster will turn to voters for relief.
The School Board voted unanimously Monday to conduct a May 7 referendum to raise taxes in its general fund to offset growing deficits that threaten programs and staffing in the traditionally high-achieving school district.
The proposal, which calls for an increase of 19.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, would raise $21 million over a seven-year period.
For a house valued at $244,835, the increase would add $253 to the tax bill.
Superintendent Richard Sopko said six people spoke in favor of the referendum and two opposed it.
Now, the state Department of Local Government Finance needs to approve the wording of the referendum before it appears on the ballot in the special election.
The school district will bear the cost of the referendum and Sopko said he likely will ask the Lake County Election Board to approve a consolidation of polling places since it will the lone issue in the election.
Sopko said he’ll be campaigning for the referendum in the community, including a March 6 appearance at a Munster Lions Club meeting at Centennial Park and a March 7 Munster Chamber of Commerce meeting.