MONROEVILLE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - In November voters in the East Allen Country School District will head to the polls to vote on a property tax referendum approved by the school board last night. If adopted, residents and businesses could see a significant hike in taxes. So, how will the local business community react?
In Monroeville, the community's only public school, Monroeville Elementary, is slated to close under all five district redesign options. A popular place in the small town is the local ice cream parlor, the Whippy Dip. The business' owner, Mary Knoblauch, has run the Whippy Dip in Monroeville for sixteen years. She says her taxes would likely double or even triple under the tax hikes, but says she's still in favor of the referendum.
"I would probably have to raise my prices, and people wouldn't be too happy about that, but I think I could survive," Knoblauch says. "It's important. I mean, you want to keep the school open because that would be the end of the town."
Knoblauch isn't the only one around town in favor of raising property taxes in hopes of keeping their school open.
"I would vote for higher taxes," says Monroeville resident Beth Knefelkamp. "I think we can sacrifice some of our money for higher taxes maybe to keep our schools open, a better education for our kids."
While it makes sense that people in this small community would do almost anything to keep their sole public school open, both Knoblauch and Knefelkamp fear that other people across the district won't vote to raise taxes.
"If you don't have kids, think about your grandkids, your nieces, your nephews, your friends kids. Think about them. And if it was me, personally, I would vote for higher taxes," says Knefelkamp.
According to our partners at the Journal Gazette, Superintendent Karyle Green said a person owning a house assessed at $100,000 would pay a maximum of about $30 more a month. But school board members say even if adopted, the tax increase might not mean all schools in the district remain open.
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