The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

No good deed goes unpunished

One of the strange quirks in political financing, is the situation where local school districts as well as local cities and towns, are often punished when they try to save money.

Wawasee schools has been "punished" for over thirty years because it did the right thing. Back in 1973 Wawasee (as well as most Kosciusko county schools) had a very low tax rate. During this time period, your local board had broad control over the tax rates. In 1973, the state passed legislation taking local control away (especially for the General Fund) and replaced it with a state funding formula. The foundation amounts were "frozen" at those levels, and the state formula took over from there. Schools with high tax rates were forever blessed with higher revenue. School districts with lower tax rates were forever cursed with lower revenues.

Now, the state is at it again. This time it affects cities and towns.

The following newspaper article in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette explains it.

"We thought it took away some local fiscal flexibility," Fort Wayne Deputy Mayor Al Moll said. "We had been prudent in not raising taxes to the maximum every year and wanted that available but instead we're punished for our frugality."

The state of Indiana continues to push funding obligations to the local taxpayer. Under this scenario, local tax payers will experience property tax increases BUT the cities, towns and schools will NOT be experiencing increased revenues proportionate to the tax increases. It is a shift of responsibility from state - to local government.

Once again, no good deed goes unpunished.

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