Porter school officials hope for lower tax rate
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent August 16, 2013 11:24PM
Updated: September 20, 2013 6:11AM
PORTER TOWNSHIP — Next year’s property tax rate for the Porter Township School Corporation should be lower than this year, based on initial projections.
Superintendent Stacey Schmidt said at Thursday’s School Board meeting that the reason is projected decreased enrollment.
The budget the school corporation will advertise is also lower than this year, when it hit a high.
In 2011, the total advertised budget was $15,639,744 and the total approved budget by the state in February was $13,757,452, while in 2012, the advertised was $15,062,766 and the February approved amount was $13,711,823.
The 2013 advertised budget was $16,521,037, and the board approved advertising the 2014 budget at $16,191,123.
The board also approved keeping Indiana Insurance Company/Liberty Mutual as the district’s employee insurance provider for employees.
Insurance costs have gone up about 8 percent, said Bill Lindburg of MacLennan & Bain, which has handled the district’s insurance for about a decade.
The board had three proposals this year, Schmidt said, with Hanover Group being the lowest and Selective Insurance Company the highest.
Schmidt recommended staying with Indiana Insurance Company because Hanover couldn’t answer questions about coverage. Lindburg said part of that was concern about coverage for sexual abuse, and that some plans require extra for sexual misconduct.
Earlier this year, a janitor from Boone Grove Middle School was charged with Class D felony sexual misconduct with a minor for allegedly being involved with a 14-year-old girl outside the school.
There also was a 15 percent increase in worker’s compensation, but the district will receive a break for lessening the frequency and severity of incidents.
Lindburg said schools are pooled and most incidents happen to cooks, followed by maintenance workers and drivers.
The board also had a public hearing extending Schmidt’s contract another year to 2016 at the same pay rate.
One person, Robert Parpart, spoke in favor of Schmidt, and said she has been the most communicative superintendent the district has had.
The board is expected to approve the contract extension Sept. 19.