Carmel Clay Schools takes first step in renewing operating referendum


The Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees took the first step in seeking a renewal of its operating referendum by approving a resolution at its May 15 meeting that allows the superintendent to alert the county auditor of the proposed referendum tax rate.

In 2017, Carmel voters approved setting the operating referendum tax rate at 19 cents per $100 of assessed home value. In the Nov. 7 election, CCS expects to ask voters to approve the same rate for the next eight years, as rising assessed home values are expected to bring in enough dollars to offset the impact of inflation and other increased costs.

“I feel pretty confident with the way inflation works and costs rise, it should stay pretty even,” CCS Supt. Michael Beresford said. “We’re confident at this point in time (keeping the rate steady) is the right thing to do.”

With the proposed rate, a homeowner with property valued at $400,000 can expect to pay approximately $433 annually as a result of the referendum.

According to CCS, the operating referendum currently produces approximately $25 million per year, most of which is used to cover teacher salaries and benefits. Without the referendum, the district could be forced to cut up to 20 percent of its teaching positions.

The school board is expected to vote at its June 26 meeting on finalizing the wording of the question regarding the referendum that will appear on the November ballot.

Learn more about the proposed renewal of the operating referendum at The site also includes a tax bill calculator and information on registering to vote.

In 2019, Carmel voters approved an eight-year school safety referendum with a maximum tax rate of 5 cents per $100 of assessed home value.