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Pete Buttigieg urges yes vote on South Bend schools plan

May 16, 2020 GMT

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is encouraging South Bend voters to raise property taxes for school improvements in the June 2 election.

“Ever since returning from the campaign trail, I’ve been reflecting on just how proud I am of everything that South Bend has achieved before, during and since my time as mayor of the city,” Buttigieg said. “We’ve got to keep that progress going and take it to the next level. And that’s one reason why I will be voting yes on the upcoming school referendum.”

Voters are being asked two questions: $54 million to update safety and security, and an additional $20.8 million a year for eight years to “pay for things like increased teacher salaries,” according to the school district.

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If approved, taxpayers would see an increase in property taxes of 39.9 cents for every $100 of assessed value, the South Bend Tribune reported.

Buttigieg made a video that was posted on a Facebook page hosted by referendum supporters.

Critics have created a political action committee to campaign against the plan. They note that student enrollment has been falling, among other concerns.