Indiana voters approve five of six ballot questions Tuesday
Indiana voters passed five of six questions asked to them about property tax increases on Tuesday, as select school districts in Lake and LaGrange counties received a mandate from voters to spend extra money.
Voters in Hobart, Indiana and in the Westview Community School District passed their referendums easily. Two questions were asked in Hobart and one in Westview. All three questions proposed property tax increases and each passed with at least 70 percent support.
Hobart will be seeking more than $42 million in loans or bonds after the results.
The ballot question in the Westview Community School District passed by a near 19-1 margin, with over 94 percent of voters approving the tax increase. Sixteen-percent of registered voters in the district voted.
Voters in Hammond, Indiana approved both tax increases by smaller margins. The city’s questions were expected to be the closest in results due to neighboring East Chicago, Indiana, voting down a very similar referendum in May.
Both ballot questions passed in Hammond, which is the state’s eighth-largest city by less than 750 votes. The school district will now prepare to take out over $110 million in loans or bonds.
The closer of the two questions in Hammond allows for pay raises for administrators and teachers in the district. The tax increase for those salary increases will last seven years.
However, the West Clark Community Schools question, which asked for the largest tax increase of any of the questions up for vote, failed by almost a 40-point margin.
Turnout was highest in West Clark Community School District, where more than 30 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.
The question asked in the West Clark district joins the question in East Chicago as one of only two school ballot questions to fail in the state this year.