SOUTH BEND — Anthony Gianoli doesn’t remember if he voted for the South Bend School Corp.’s $220 million referendum last year, but he said school officials led him to believe the measure would have little impact on his property taxes.

So Gianoli, 69, was shocked when he opened a letter from the county treasurer’s office this spring and found the referendum tacked on $324, helping drive a 35% spike in his overall property tax bill.

“They said it will be a minimal increase, maybe $10 or $15,” Gianoli said. “I think we were misled on this thing.”

Gianoli is not alone.

Staffers at the St. Joseph County Auditor’s office have been taking non-stop phone calls from taxpayers demanding to know why they owe hundreds more dollars this year, office manager Kathy Gregorich said, with most of the calls focusing on the impact of the ballot measure that raised money for the school district.
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