Delaware Public Media

Delaware school boards could raise taxes without referendum under new bill

May 24, 2017

A bill that would allow local school boards to raise property taxes for operating funds based on inflation is looking for sponsors in the General Assembly


The draft proposal from Rep. Earl Jaques (D-Glasgow), who chairs the House Education Committee, is nearly a clone of a plan floated three years ago that never received a vote.


Every two years, school board members could hike property taxes by up to three percent, or based on inflation, without getting taxpayer approval.


Referendums for capital projects, like building a new school, would still have to go to a vote.


Rep. John Kowalko (D-Newark South) calls the bill is a “blatant attempt to shirk the Legislature’s responsibility to adequately fund public education and seek the necessary revenue to do so.”


Jaques couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.


The bill has yet to be introduced and its specifics could be changed.