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Bill Allows 2% Property Tax Hikes for Schools Without Referendum

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers have again introduced legislation allowing school districts in Delaware to raise taxes without local voter approval.

A bill introduced Thursday says that, beginning in July 2020, a school board could increase the rate or amount of its district operating tax by at least 2% every year, indefinitely, without holding a referendum.

A school district could still hold a referendum if officials wanted to raise the operating tax by more than 2% or a rate equal to the increase in the consumer price index. A referendum also would still be required to pay for major construction projects.

The bill, similar to previous proposals, was introduced just days after residents in the Christina school district, one of Delaware's largest, rejected a proposed 20% increase in operating taxes.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.