Voters Head To The Polls Today For Cape Henlopen’s Proposes Tax Increase

Voters head to the polls today for the Cape Henlopen School District referendum.

The Cape Henlopen School District has announced a proposal to manage its increasing operational expenses and fund major capital projects through a tax rate increase. A referendum scheduled for Today, May 21, 2024, will allow district residents to vote on this initiative.

Officials said in response to a growth in the student population—from 4,150 in 2001 to 6,645 in the spring of 2024—the district is seeking to implement a tax increase effective July 1, 2024. This tax, amounting to 30.5 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation, is designed to cover the rising costs in various operational areas such as utilities, personnel, maintenance, transportation, instructional materials, technology, and special education services.

According to district officials, the funds from this increase will be critical in supporting the needs of a growing and expanding student population. With enrollment projected to continue its upward trend over the next decade, these resources are deemed essential for sustaining the quality of education and services according to district officials.

The district plans to issue bonds totaling $42,974,605 starting July 1, 2025. An incremental tax increase of 2.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation will commence on this date, followed by an additional increase of 6.3 cents starting July 1, 2026. The proceeds from these bonds will be allocated toward the purchase of over 100 acres of land, the relocation of the district office, and the construction of a new bus maintenance facility.

Voting for this referendum will take place from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM at multiple locations across the district, including Cape Henlopen High School, Mariner Middle School, Beacon Middle School, Rehoboth Elementary School, and the Lewes Public Library. All district residents who are U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old are eligible to cast their vote.