Don Rush

Voters will go to the polls on March 20th to cast their ballots on a referendum for the Cape Henlopen School District.

The district will be asking for a tax increase to generate $21 million for a new middle school and the expansion of Cape Henlopen High School.

It would add $46 a year onto the average household to their property taxes.

WBOC reports that the district says the expansion is needed to meet the growing student enrollment.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers are taking a first look at a bill that would allow school districts in Delaware to raise taxes without the approval of local residents.

The bill to be considered in committee on Wednesday allows local school boards, starting in tax year 2018, to increase the rate or amount of a tax originally authorized in an election without going back to voters.

The increase would be limited to the higher of a rate equal to the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index, or a rate of 3 percent every two years without a further election or referendum.

Colonial School District

Voters approved a $10.9 million a year referendum that the Colonial School District says it needs to avoid cuts in staff and programs.

Superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey told the Wilmington News Journal that this was a victory for the 10-thousand students and the staff.

This is the second time the proposal has been put up for a vote and resulted in just over 57-hundred for the funding and around 39-hundred against.

The voter turnout was also nearly twice as last time with around 96-hundred casting ballots as opposed to only around 5-thousand in February.

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The Ocean City firefighters and paramedics are set to get their arbitration referendum on the ballot in the next election.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Board of Elections told the town council that the measure had received enough signatures to qualify.

With the council’s unanimous acceptance of the result Ryan Whittingon, president of Local 4269, told the paper that it will be helpful to have someone look into disputed issues.

Last March the union and the town of Ocean City hammered out an agreement that included the contentious issue of work shifts.

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Voters in the Indian River School District gave the thumbs up to a referendum that would raise $7.3 million.

It was approved an overwhelming margin of around 17-hundred votes – that is 7-thousand to 53-hundred.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the district argued that the funds were needed given that its student pollution had grown over 22 percent over the last decade.

The district says it is projected to hit over 10-thousand students by 2026.

The district said that this would save up to 200 jobs.

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Today it’s one more time to the polls in the Indian River School District on a referendum that would raise $7.3 million in property taxes.

The district has argued that it needs the funds to handle the massive growth the district has seen in recent years.

WBOC reports that the district says the money will allow it to hire more teachers and improve security and technology.

In addition, the money would also help fund school programs.

If approved residents would pay an additional 49 cents for $100 of assessed property value.

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The Indian River School Board is going give it another try.

Yesterday the board decided to present another referendum next March that would ask for a hike of 49 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

The vote was 8-to-2.

Despite the rejection last month of a referendum board member James Fritz said he was optimistic since that one lost by only 30 votes.

Superintendent Susan Bunting noted that there was some work to do in the Long Neck area where the referendum lost by a significant margin.

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Voters in the Indian River School District are set to go to the polls today to decide a $7.3 million referendum.

If approved it would raise property taxes by more than $95 a year and would providing funding for school security, technology and hiring among other needs.

But the vote comes just as a state audit found that there had been mismanagement of school funds over seen by the former CFO Patrick Miller.

WBOC reports that the audit said the district did not have adequate safeguards to control and detect financial improprieties.

Red Clay Consolidated School District

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A judge is set to being hearing testimony in a lawsuit over a disputed New Castle County school district tax referendum.

The trial beginning Monday involves a 2015 referendum approved by residents of the Red Clay Consolidated School District.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued on behalf of a district resident and her elderly parents who opposed the tax increase but say they were unable to gain access to the polls.

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Brandywine School District voters gave their overwhelming support for a referendum for another 28 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

The money will go towards the operating budget and capital projects.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that over 9-thousand voters cast their ballots for referendum while nearly 58-hundred were opposed.

Superintendent Mark Holodick told the paper that if the referendum did not pass that school district would have had to cut $8 million from its $174-million.