Voters Consider Extending West Lafayette School Tax

May 2, 2017

Voter turnout has been slow, but steady for Tuesday’s ballot question on extending an extra property tax for the West Lafayette Community Schools.

Sporting shimmering red athletic shoes, a red coat, gray sweater and gray and red ball cap, Superintendent Rocky Killion was the embodiment of a Red Devil fan.  

It’s what he wears to school on Fridays – spirit days – and game days. 

But on Tuesday, the competition was to win a simple majority of votes to continue collecting an extra property tax that pays the salaries of 52 teachers, as well as music, art and other programs.

“Everyone’s very cordial," Killion says. "I’m here just to greet and to show them where to vote. And I think that everyone I have seen seems to be positive, thus far.”

Don Platt’s daughters graduated from West Side high school several years ago and he says he supports the referendum.

“We’re so grateful for the educations that they received here, and want to afford that same education to other children," Platt says.

Inside the Junior-Senior High School, it only takes poll workers a minute to instruct the voters, another minute for voters to fill in Yes or No on the paper ballot, and then scan their vote to be counted.

Killion opted for paper ballots and polling locations at public buildings to cut the cost of the referendum, which is being funded by the groups Friends of West Lafayette Schools. 

He says the tax generates a fifth of the school district’s operating fund.