News release: “Greenville Concerned Citizens, Inc. (has) voted to oppose the upcoming $80 million school bond referendum.”


This release was forwarded to me by the Floyd Action Network:

“A benefit of membership in Floyd Action Network is the opportunity for member organizations to communicate with FAN’s members. So, without endorsement, FAN passes this message from Greenville Concerned Citizens, a member organization.”

I now follow suit, sans endorsement.

To Floyd County Property Taxpayers:

May 5, 2015 is our next primary election when cities and towns in Indiana will elect their governing officials. Floyd County also has a referendum on the ballot on whether to approve bonds for building/renovating more schools in Floyd County. This will be the only item on the ballot for residents of unincorporated Floyd County. After reviewing this matter and discussing the school board’s rationale for their proposed new tax at its March 19th Board of Directors meeting, Greenville Concerned Citizens, Inc. voted to oppose the upcoming $80 million school bond referendum.

The school administration’s stated plan is to build new schools to replace the current Green Valley Road and Slate Run Road schools, as well as some renovation at Prosser Vocational School and Greenville Elementary and Floyds Knobs Elementary schools. The cost of this building plan to taxpayers will be approximately 80 million dollars and we would begin paying the bill in 2018, when the present school bonds will be paid off. Without this new building plan, the most recent (i.e. current) bond will be retired and our property taxes would decrease by approximately $230 for each $100,000 of assessed value (i.e. drop from approximately $.55 per $100 of assessed value to $.32 per $100).

Supporting public education is one of the most important uses of our tax dollars. However, using those tax dollars in the manner proposed is debatable. For example, there appears to be no claim of needing to build these new schools because of overcrowding, or because of safety concerns based upon any actual problems or incidents. Rather, the school board wants this tax primarily because they feel that the present schools are not as new as the recently renovated schools. Well, many of us also have older homes but we manage to keep them properly maintained while living within our budget. We should not incur $80 million in new debt just to improve the aesthetics of several schools, especially when such a debt would handicap future school boards’ ability to raise funds that may be necessary for actual education. Our schools are among the best in the region because we focus on education, not appearances; on books, not bricks; and on quality teachers.

The school administration admitted that they have $2.5 million in “discretionary funds” (their own words) in each year of their budget. This means that, over the same 20 year period as their proposed new tax increase/bonds, they could have up to $50 million dollars at their disposal. Why won’t they use some of those funds instead of incurring another $80 million in debt?

When you receive your property tax bills in April notice how much of your tax dollars go to Schools. If you are concerned about that amount, please call the Floyd County Voter Registration office at 948-5419 to find out when and where you can “early vote”. Or, go to a voting site on Election Day, Tuesday May 5th. But vote, and vote “NO”.

Please pass this information along to your Floyd County family and friends. We need participation by all county residents, especially the taxpayers, and not just those with a vested interest or a personal stake in the outcome.

Your vote counts! You can make a difference!

Greenville Concerned Citizens, Inc.