Polls open for Cape district referendum

Voting at Cape High, Mariner Middle, Rehoboth Elementary until 8 p.m.
March 26, 2024

Voters head to the polls today to approve or deny a capital projects and operating expense referendum for the Cape Henlopen School District, which last held a referendum in 2018.

The referendum calls for an increase of $0.21 to the capital projects tax rate to pay for a $15 million, 102-acre property along Cedar Grove and Mulberry roads upon which a $21 million district office, $6 million bus maintenance facility and $36 million swimming complex can be built. 

The total cost of all projects is $78.6 million, for which the average homeowner would pay an additional $5 per month, or $60 per year.

The district is also asking for a $0.33 operating expense tax rate increase that would generate over $5 million annually and would cost the average homeowner just under $8 a month, or $94 a year.

The operating expense tax increase would be implemented one time July 1, and the debt service increase would occur in increments, with the first increase beginning July 1, 2025, and then again July 1, 2026.

Taxes would increase on average $93.82 in fiscal year 2025, an additional $14.56 in fiscal year 2026 and then by $45.37 in fiscal year 2027. In the peak fiscal year 2027, taxpayers would pay $12.81 a month, or $153.75 a year.

After fiscal year 2027, taxes would decrease over the next seven years as the debt service decreases for the project, and bonds from projects such as the current high school are paid off.

District figures show that in fiscal year 2028, taxes would decrease by $26.61, and would decrease an additional $7.56 in fiscal year 2029. In 2029, taxpayers would pay $9.97 a month, or $119.58 a year.

Polls are open until 8 p.m. at Cape High, Mariner Middle and Rehoboth Elementary. All district residents who are U.S. citizens and over age 18 are eligible to vote.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter