Smyrna School District referendum March 23

Posted

SMYRNA — Residents in the Smyrna School District will cast their ballots on a school tax hike in March.

The school board approved the ballot for the capital and operating referendum unanimously Wednesday. The vote will be March 23.

The ballot will be split into two questions — one targeting operating funds, the other capital projects.

The district will ask voters to approve an increase of 25 cents per $100 of assessed property value in New Castle County and 32 cents per $100 of assessed property value in Kent County. The funds, which are estimated to raise about $2.5 million in fiscal year 2022, would support increased growth and district operations.

The average taxpayer in New Castle County and Kent County would see an increase of $119.85 per year, officials said.

Voters will also be asked to authorize the issuance of bonds for the local portion — which is about $20.9 million — for capital improvements. The bonds are financed through an increase to property taxes over the course of 24 years. The state is taking on the brunt of the total cost for the project, which is $90.9 million.

The bonds would allow the district to purchase about 15 acres to construct a new elementary school. Funds would also allow for renovations and additions to North Smyrna Elementary School and Clayton Intermediate School.

The average taxpayer in both counties would actually see a reduction in the first two years ($2.40 and $5.97, respectively) due to other bonds retiring. In year three, the average taxpayer would see an increase of $13.16, year four would be $38.21, and year five would be $6.02.

Every year after the fifth year, taxpayers would see a decrease.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 23 at Smyrna Elementary School, 121 S. School Lane; the Ruritan Club of Kenton, 249 S. Main St.; and Smyrna Middle School, 700 Duck Creek Parkway.

Absentee ballots can be requested by completing an affidavit at the Department of Elections' Kent County Office website (select Absentee Ballot and follow the instructions) or by emailing absenteekc@delaware.gov. Ballots must be received by March 23 at 8 p.m.