Why are we asking for a facilities referendum?
For the last several years, our community has talked about the need for upgraded facilities for our high school students. With a combined age of over 160 years, our three high schools have served several generations.
Today’s high school education is focused on building career skills, developing character traits, and equipping students for a 21st century workforce. The proposed facilities project was built with these items in mind.
In the state of Indiana, the only way to finance a significant building project is via a referendum. School corporations are not allowed to finance projects over $17 million dollars through debt service or through “saving” money.
In late 2021, the Vigo County School Corporation administration facilitated 55 community and staff meetings, gaining input on our community’s priorities for a potential facilities project. Through feedback in these meetings and through survey data collected from parents, staff members, and community members, it is clear that our community: believes our high schools need attention, wants to keep three high schools, and wants a project that significantly upgrades our academic spaces.
Why do we need to address our high school facilities?
Frequently asked questions about the high school project:
Why do we need new high school facilities?
The facilities and classrooms at North, South, and West Vigo High Schools have served several generations, and the way that high school curriculum is delivered has changed over the last 50-60 years. With a combined age of over 160 years, the proposed facilities project would provide physical upgrades and improved classroom spaces.
What were the eight concepts discussed with the community?
The following concepts were presented to the community in 2021 and community feedback overwhelmingly identified options 1, 2, and 3 as community priorities, in large part because they kept three high schools in our community.
Concept 1: Three high schools, additions and renovations only.
Concept 2: Three high schools–Concept 1, but including demolition and reconstruction of major building/site components.
Concept 3: Three high schools, completely new buildings, demolition of existing buildings.
Concept 4: 4 high schools, demolition/new construction of current three high schools, addition of East High School.
Concept 5: 2 high schools–a new East and West High School, demolish North and South.
Concept 6: 1 high school–build a new Central High School on a new site, demolish existing three, new West Vigo Middle School.
Concept 7: 1 high school–same as Concept 6, but single high school is on existing North or South High School campus.
Concept 8: 2 high schools–New high schools at North and South sites, demolish existing three, new West Vigo Middle School.
What option will be on the May 2022 ballot?
After collecting feedback at community meetings and analyzing survey data, Option 2 was selected as the most viable option. Since the 2019 operational referendum would go away early if a facilities referendum is passed, Option 2 would raise the tax rate $0.2560 more than what Vigo County residents are currently paying and fund new academic spaces at Terre Haute North Vigo High School, Terre Haute South Vigo High School, and West Vigo Middle/High School and allow for major renovations of co-curricular spaces at these facilities in one cohesive project.
Option 2 also allows the school corporation to use existing debt service funds for important projects at the county’s elementary and middle schools, since the referendum would fully fund all projects at the county’s three high schools.
How much will I, individually, contribute to a high school facilities project?
In the state of Indiana, the only way to have a major renovation or construction project for a school corporation is through a referendum that raises local property tax rates until the project is paid for.
BakerTilly Municipal Advisors have created a calculator so Vigo County residents can calculate their estimated tax impact. Click the button below to calculate your impact.
What’s the difference between the market value of my home (“gross assessed value”) and “net assessed value”?
The “gross assessed value” of your home is what the county assessor’s office believes your home might sell for on the housing market. However, residents do not often pay property taxes on the full gross assessed value. “Net assessed value” takes into account normal deductions on property taxes, including the standard deduction, supplemental homestead deduction, and the mortgage deduction.
For a home with a gross assessed value of $200,000, the net assessed value after these deductions is $97,750. When using the tax calculator above, you should use the gross assessed value found at the link to the Vigo County Assessor’s website. Homes with a gross assessed value/market value of $200,000 would have a tax impact of an additional $20.85 monthly/$250.24 yearly for the high school facilities project.
The estimated median home value in Vigo County is $97,500, with a net assessed value of $31,125. This home would have a tax impact of an additional $6.64 monthly/$79.68 yearly for the high school facilities project.
What will be the question on the ballot in May 2022?
In the state of Indiana, the Department of Local Government Finance creates the referendum question to be asked on the ballot. In May 2022, this will appear on the ballot (percentages to be determined):
Shall Vigo County School Corporation increase property taxes paid to the school corporation by homeowners and businesses? If this public question is approved by voters, the average property tax paid to the school corporation per year on a residence would increase by TBD% and the average property tax paid to the school corporation per year on a business property would increase by TBD%. The political subdivision may issue bonds or enter into a lease to fund the 2022 High School Safety, Security, Infrastructure, Replacement and Restoration Project which includes the construction of academic spaces and renovation of and improvements to North Vigo High School, South Vigo High School and West Vigo Middle/High School, site improvements and the purchase of equipment and technology, which is estimated to cost $261,790,000 over 22 years. The most recent property tax referendum within the boundaries of the political subdivision for which this public question is being considered was proposed by the Vigo County School Corporation in 2019 and passed.