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Cape Henlopen School Distirict tax referendum fails again

Delaware Public Media

Residents in the Cape Henlopen School District say “no” again to a tax referendum.

The district’s second try this year to raise taxes for operating expenses and a set of capital projects lost by 495 votes. Turnout was slightly higher this time, but it only trimmed the losing margin by 164 votes.

After a first try was rejected in March, the district pared three cents off its ask for operating expenses, seeking an additional 30 and a half cents per $100 assessed property value in taxes.

The district also sought 8.6 cents per $100 assessed value for capital projects.

The big difference this time is the district removed a new pool from the referendum. It still hoped to fund purchasing land to relocate the district office and make room to expand Cape Henlopen High School while also building a new transportation/bus maintenance facility.

District officials called Tuesday’s result “disappointing,” adding they will take some time over the next few weeks to determine short-term and long-term plans.

Cape is the first district this school year to fail on two referendum tries. Appoquinimink School District succeeded on its second try last month. Another district, Smyrna, holds a second chance referendum in early June.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.