Mt. Vernon to stop collecting on tax referendum

Posted at 4:42 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 10:42:17-04

Taxpayers in the Mt. Vernon School District are getting a break.

The district voted Monday night to stop collecting on a referendum that was passed in 2014.

The three-year referendum, which generates more than $1 million each year for the district's general fund, was meant to help dig out of a $3.5 million debt.

Homeowners are charged 11 cents per $100 in property value -- about $110 for a $110,000 house annually.

District officials say finances have turned around since the referendum was passed.

The state's new funding formula is bringing in about $1.2 million more per year.

Enrollment is up by 200, which brings in another million.

There's also a more competitive bidding process for services, which saves Mt. Vernon schools money.

"Our board made a pledge to the community that they would only use what they needed and quite honestly I feel like we would be less than honest if we went ahead and collected it knowing we are financially stable now... and so we're going to go ahead and forego collecting year three," said Dr. Shane Robbins, Superintendent, Mt. Vernon School District.

When the referendum was passed in 2014, it was only by 14 votes, so it may be surprising that several people we talked to don't want the tax refund.

"Let us know, hey we don't need this money for what we intended, but I would rather them keep that because eventually they're going to need it," said Zachary Skelton.