Property Tax Hike for Eastern Allen County

By Maureen Mespell
By Rachel Martin

September 20, 2011 Updated Sep 20, 2011 at 11:21 PM EDT

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – The East Allen County School (EACS) Board approved the $10.8 million expansion project for Woodlan Jr./Sr. High School at the public meeting Tuesday night. The project will cause a significant raise in property taxes.

The school board approved the project converting Woodlan Jr./Sr. High School into a K-12 school. The elementary, intermediate, and high schools will each have their own wings in the building. The project will cost $10.8 million in bonds and be paid for through property taxes.

Any construction or renovation project that comes in under $12 million does not require a public vote. However, East Allen County residents have 30 days to petition against funding the project. The Woodlan project is just many of more tax hikes to come. EACS has several other school renovation projects across the district, including Heritage, New Haven High School, and Harding.

So far, the New Haven High School project is the only one to cost over $12 million. The public will be able to vote on whether or not they want to raise taxes to fund that project, but not all projects could get a vote.

Indiana’s NewsCenter asked EACS Board President, Neil Reynolds, if he thought voting on some projects and not others was fair.

“No, I think it is fair to do it this way. Everyone will have their say, and everyone's going to have their say, yea or nay, one way or the other,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds also said the Board has no plans on having a collective public vote on all the proposed projects. He said the Board thought is was “more advantageous” to the district and future of the programs.

The Woodlan expansion project will cost East Allen County tax payers, with a $100,000 home, $7.93 more a year. Farmers and business owners will pay about $24 more a year for every $100,000 in assessed value.

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