The Vote Yes 4 Avon Schools supporters are telling only part of the story. The referendum is requesting a $.3536 increase in property taxes to raise $9.5 million for the General Fund. The General Fund does not currently receive property taxes. It is funded 100 percent by the state based upon student enrolment and is designated to fund teacher salaries and operating expenses. Property taxes fund debt service, school pension debt, capital projects, and transportation and bus replacement funds. Avon has one of the highest tax rates for these funds in the state. The current rate is $1.7057 per $100 of NVA. The rate has been reduced by property tax caps. The circuit breaker losses due to property tax caps have accounted for the lost funds they have experienced since property tax caps were adopted. The circuit breakers only affect debt, capital and transportation funds; not General Funds.
They will reference surrounding school corporations that have approved referendums for their general fund but what they don’t tell is what the total school tax rate is including the approved referendums. Some examples are: Carmel $.8118, Zionsville $1.276, Noblesville $1.276, Westfield $1.6501, Perry Township $1.552, and Speedway .0577. In addition, all of these jurisdictions have a much lower total tax rate than Avon which is $3.0545.
The lack of diversified AV is causing the problem. More than 70 percent is residential housing. Washington Township has only one viable Industrial Park, All Points Midwest located in the town of Plainfield. The current net AV in the park is approximately $125,000,000 which is the equivalent to 900 homes based upon the average net AV. The Industrial park has no students. The current tax rate in this park is $.32 more per square foot more than in Guilford Township. If the referendum is approved it will add another $.15. The business also pays personal property taxes and the current value is $38 million with more than $150 million that is being assessed. The additional tax burden will decrease the value of these properties and deter growth and we will lose AV.
Passing the referendum will not solve our problem. We must diversify our tax base by promoting industrial and commercial growth while limiting residential growth. This is the responsibility of The Town of Avon and Hendricks County and the Avon School Board. Also, the state legislature must keep its promise of funding the School General Fund fairly. There is nothing fair about a $3000-per-student difference between schools. Do not let your elected officials off the hook by punishing residential homeowners. The state should keep their promise of property tax caps and local officials need to control diversified growth.
Kent McPhail, Washington Township Resident