Delaware Public Media

Revised Indian River School District referendum set for May

Mar 5, 2019

The Indian River School District will try again to get residents to back a tax referendum later this year.  


Voters in the district rejected a capital improvement and current expense referendum in February.


Superintendent Mark Steele says when the district goes back to voters May 7, it is eliminating the current expense portion of the referendum:


“Eliminating question two will reduce the amount we were asking by about $18.59; so that’s off the table,” said Steele.

Steele says the district is seeking a 32 cent increase per $100 of assessed property value - phased in over four years - for capital projects.

“Now what that will be - the average taxpayer in year number four will hit an increase of $68. Now again, that’s phased in from 1 to 4. In years, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, we have multiple bonds closing on previous major capital - things that we have done - projects,” said Steele.

Steele says that translates to a reduction of about 22-cents in years 5 through 9.

The district says it needs the capital improvement increase to deal with growing enrollment.  It would raise $63 million to build a new Sussex Central High School, an eight-classroom addition at Indian River High School and a four-classroom addition at Selbyville Middle School.


The state would handle the remaining cost of the $158 million plan.

Steele says he and the district are planning several Facebook live sessions and community meetings to explain the referendum.