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MSD considers property tax evaluation

by ANDREW MACIEJEWSKI - amaciejewski@wabashplaindealer.com

The Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Wabsh County’s Board of Trustees is considering holding a public work session with a data professional to look into how consolidation would impact tax rates, tentatively scheduled for May 22 at 5 p.m.

Board President Kevin Bowman said he wants to invite Data Pitstop Inc., owner Darren Bates for a work session to review previous tax documents to get an idea of what property taxes would look like in a consolidated district.

Bowman said this is the next step in an ongoing process to gather information following their decision to pursue an independent study.

“I’ll probably just turn it over to him,” Bowman said. “What he would be looking at is if MSD and Wabash City Schools were a district, you know, what would be the property tax implications?”

Bates works with local governments surrounding the county, including Wabash County’s Board of Commissioners and Wabash County Council. Former Wabash County Council member Jeff Dawes approved of Bates’s ability to work with numbers and project budgets.

In other business, MSD Assistant Superintendent of Finance Chris Kuhn said MSD plans to hold a public meeting to ask for additional appropriations from the corporation’s rainy day fund. Kuhn said the school corporation has enough funds to make the appropriations, which will be used for teacher stipends, marketing and the previously approved survey to be conducted by Yager Educational Services.

The stipends would pay teachers whose salaries have reached the top of the pay scale. The administration is also considering hiring a public relations specialist and utilizing student-created advertising strategies.

Several board members said they would like to increase marketing in Huntington County, citing a redistricting effort underway in that county. The conversation also included suggestion that MSD expand bus services to families in Huntington. Kuhn said MSD could send a bus to Huntington if there are enough students moving into the MSD district, but no decision was made.