Delaware Public Media

Voters say 'yes' to Indian River tax referendum

Feb 13, 2020

Indian River School District residents finally gave the green light to raise taxes for a new school.

The district’s third attempt to fund construction of a new Sussex Central High School passed easily Thursday.

7,536 voters said “yes” to the capital referendum, while 4,535 voted against.

The 3,000 vote margin of victory was a far cry from last year’s two referendum tries that sought to pay for the new high school and classroom additions at Indian River High School and Selbyville Middle School.  They were defeated by 644 and 65 vote margins.

Officials say the new Sussex Central High School is needed to help deal with growing enrollment and overcrowded classrooms. In addition to the new building, the district will relocate Millsboro Middle School to the Sussex Central High and convert Millsboro Middle School into an elementary school.

“We are grateful that IRSD residents recognized the need for additional classroom space and approved our plan to solve overcrowding problems with the construction of only one new school," said Indian River superintendent Mark Steele in a statement. "The district worked diligently to put forth a proposal that would address enrollment growth while also providing the best value to taxpayers."

Under this tax increase, the most an average district property owner will see taxes go up is $63.24.  And the increase will be phased in over three-years.