Property Taxes, Pay to Play at Center of Avon Vote

[UGCDFW-CJ]4th of July cake!

Avon residents head to the polls today to make decisions that will ultimately affect their tax bills and could affect what student athletes have to pay to play.

Voters will be deciding whether to accept a 4.4 percent boost in property taxes to balance the $72 million 2010-2011 budget. Unlike many towns, where voters are against tax increases, some residents have publicly supported the increase because of the impact on education.

The budget plan sets aside about $46 million for education. It was $47 million, but $1 million was recently cut from the education funds.

In a move that will help close that $1 million gap, Avon teachers agreed to concessions on Tuesday night to spread their annual raise over two years, which could save about $350,000.

But, there is still a gap and one central part of the debate is whether parents of student athletes will help close it by paying more out of pocket for their children to participate in sports.

Students who play hockey could see fees increase from $150 to $2,000. while fees for baseball and softball would be $400.

A poll was taken in the community and a large percentage of parents said they'd rather pay than see the sports eliminated.

“One of the draws of Avon, really is the schools. A lot of people are moving here just for schools,” Laura Corning said.

But one grassroots group is against the plan entirely and say it raises taxes by too much.

Polls close at 8 p.m. and the district won't make any final decisions until after tonight's vote is tallied.

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