Friday, March 12, 2010

Pike Pro-Referendum PAC is Formed

A political action committee has been formed to support the Pike Township referendum that would allow the Pike Township Schools to borrow money to tear down Guion Creek Elementary and construct a new school building.
The Chairman of the political action committee called "Pike Taxpayers for Better Schools" is Timothy Koponen, a local political activist with ties to the Republican and Libertarian parties.
I think Koponen will have a tough sell. Pike taxpayers have grown weary of perfectly adequate school buildings only a few decades old being torn down in favor of brand new facilities. I have taught as a substitute teacher in Guion Creek Elementary School. There is little wrong with that building. Same with Eastbrook Elementary (which the district also decided to tear down) another school I substituted at frequently.
I know the argument is that building a new Guion Creek Elementary won't cause an increase in taxes because a construction bond on another building is being paid off when the new Guion construction bond is being taken out. Pike taxpayers should reject that justification. Why not cut the district's debt and reduce taxes? Pike residents are already overtaxed for our schools compared to other districts.
As a school board candidate, I'll for now keep an open mind on the referendum. I though have reviewed the Pike administration's talking points in favor of the construction. (I'll post a link once I can find the talking points again on-line.) They fall far short of justifying the taxpayers continuing to have to service needless debt with their property taxes. Koponen needs to come up with better arguments than advanced thus far if he expects the Pike voters to support this costly project.


Had Enough Indy? said...

The argument that the tax rate will remain steady since old debt is being retired, is not applicable in the age of tax caps.

A referendum allows an increase in property tax rates to pay off the new debt. BUT, that increase is on top of the tax caps. So, looking at homestead property only, you can still reach the 1% tax cap due to the declining tax rate from your school district, plus the tax rates from the City, Library, Township Government, IFD (if relevant), etc. Then, any increase approved by referendum is added on top of that 1%. So, your taxes can indeed go up, even if the debt load on the School District remains the same.

Hope I was clear enough.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I was thinking the same thing though you articulated it better than me.

guy77money said...

Nobody is building right now! Is this guy crazy? Is Pike that flush with cash? I'm confused?

Unknown said...

The tax rate on this project is set by the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF). After reviewing the numbers that were approved for this project by the DLGF the rate would be .2375 per $100 of assessed value. which would mean the average $150k home in Pike could pay an additional $356.25 in taxes to pay for this school. That would be about $9.2 million a year in "new money" for the school. The interesting part is that they say that they are going to pay this project off in 4-5 years but like in other township referendums Pike does not have a time limit attached to this public question......something isn't ight with this!

Paul K. Ogden said...


Please where can I find the wording of the question? I thought it had to be submitted to the council and approved. I haven't seen that yet.

You bring up an excellent point. This is shades of the Wishard referendum where they promised things, but just didn't want to put it in the referendum.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I know that if I lived in Pike Township, I would be looking for ways to decrease the taxes, not listen to referendum proposers who only promise that what they want built, will not increase our taxes.

M Theory said...

Is he one of those Republicans who says he's really Libertarian because he thinks being Libertarian means you don't have morals?