School Leaders to Fight Referendum Plan

By Peter Ambrose

June 18, 2010 Updated May 28, 2010 at 5:39 PM EST

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana school officials intend to fight Governor Mitch Daniels' proposal to require voter approval for local government and school construction projects.

They say the governor's plan could lead to crumbling, neglected

Daniels has said the referendum system for big local public construction projects is needed to give voters a greater say in what he calls "the biggest driver of property tax increases."

John Ellis is the executive director of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents. He says projects are easy to defeat on a referendum because the issue becomes higher property taxes instead of the merits of the project.

The governor's office says one-quarter of all property tax payments last year went to debt, of which 75 percent were for school obligations.

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