Friday, February 5, 2016

A poster with information about Concord Community Schools' financial situation, ahead of Tuesday's vote on the referendum question calling for a tax hike in the school district. Voters approved the referendum. The photo is from a Jan. 13, 2014, meeting on the matter. (By Larry Tebo/The Elkhart Truth)
How will Elkhart and Concord school tax hikes and Elkhart sewer rate hikes impact you?
Posted on May 8, 2014 at 1:33 p.m.

Thursday May 8, 2014

You own a home and you're wondering what you're going to pay in higher taxes now that voters have approved property tax hikes in the Elkhart and Concord school districts.

You're also on the city of Elkhart's sewer system and wonder how the school tax hikes and sewer rate hikes, taken together, will impact you.

  • For more on the potential impact of the school tax rate hikes and new sewer fees look here.

We've got you covered. At least we can offer some rough parameters on how much more you'll be paying.

Below is a table outlining possible increases in sewer and school expenses starting in 2015 under a few scenarios. There are caveats, so read the fine print below. Notably, any hikes in school taxes could be tempered in years to come as the districts pay off other bond obligations.

And, remember, the sewer rate hikes and school tax increases aren't related, except that they both entail new expenses for impacted residents.

The rising cost of living in Elkhart

Homeowners will see new expenses in 2015 due to sewer rate hikes and, possibly, school referendum tax hikes*

* Those who don't get Elkhart sewer service won't be impacted by those fees. School officials say numerous factors bear on the precise impact of any tax hikes.

** The Elkhart schools increase will have two elements, a seven-year estmated 13.15-cent property tax hike and a 5.45-cent hike of nearly 20 years.

*** The Concord schools increase will have one element, a seven-year estimated 40.5-cent tax rate hike.

**** One of the Elkhart schools tax hikes would go into effect in 2015 while the second would go partially in effect in 2016 and fully in effect in 2017.

Source: Indiana DLGF referendum impact calculator, Elkhart Community Schools, Concord Community Schools, Elkhart Department of Public Works and Utilities. The sewer rate hike estimate is based on average household water use, 700 cubic feet per month. It factors increases that went in effect January 2013 and January 2014 and a planned January 2015 hike.

Follow reporter Tim Vandenack on Twitter at @timvandenack or visit him on Facebook.