Baker Tilly’s referendum and community survey services and tools are consistently proven to produce reliable results. Our methodology is tested in real-time to ensure the survey closely reflects the demographics of your entire community.

    Plan and execute a successful, data-driven referendum based on bona fide community survey and voter mapping results.

    State and local governments, school districts and other entities conducting operating, facility and bond referenda need accurate data and constituent feedback to be successful on election day. To execute an effective campaign and get the “yes” votes needed to pass a referendum, policy makers need to strategize on what to put on the ballot – and how.

    Run your referendum with Baker Tilly’s Value Architects™ who understand how to help you prepare, plan and implement a winning campaign.

    By the numbers

    Woman votes on a referendum on election day


    of our clients passed their referendum on election day in the last five years

    19 of 20

    ballot measures that used our survey methodology passed their referendum on election day in the last three years

    Referendum predictions and results

    “We were very pleased with the Baker Tilly survey services. The incredibly high levels of professionalism and survey knowledge of the Baker Tilly team helped us every step of the way in developing a high-quality communication tool. We plan to use this tool to communicate again and again with members of our community over a period of years to continue to gather important longitudinal feedback and constructive input regarding our efforts to best serve the community.”
    – Dr. Michael Redmond, Superintendent, Shakopee Public Schools
    School Tax Elections – Planning for Success in the New Normal

    School Tax Elections – Planning for Success in the New Normal – 3rd Edition

    This book represents a combination of research and successful practice, presenting a comprehensive planning model for leaders preparing for and conducting school tax elections. 

    About the authors

    Don E. Lifto is a director and consultant with Baker Tilly. Previously, he was a school superintendent in Minnesota for twenty-five years, having served in rural, suburban and intermediate districts.

    Barbara Nicol, APR, has more than thirty years of experience in the communications field. She founded Barbara Nicol Public Relations in 1990 and focuses her work on providing strategic and high-quality communications expertise to school districts and education-related organizations.

    “In School Tax Elections: Planning for Success in the New Normal, Third Edition, Don Lifto and Barb Nicol provide a recipe for success. They offer practical, research-based advice for preparing for an election campaign, anticipating potential challenges, and managing the process to increase the chances for a successful outcome. Today, school tax referenda are often won and lost by small margins. With such little room for error, anyone involved in leading, planning and executing such an initiative should read this book carefully.”
    – Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators
    St. Paul, Minnesota skyline

    The Demographic Realities of School Tax Elections

    South St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota employed tracking technology and commercially available data to generate decisive community support on funding proposals.

    Student studies on campus

    Leadership matters: Superintendents' response to COVID-19

    View Baker Tilly’s analysis of the survey conducted with Minnesota school superintendents asking about lessons learned from managing responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Don E. Lifto

    Superintendent Q&A: Dr. Don Lifto

    SchoolCEO interviews Don Lifto about changes in school tax elections, basic advice for school districts and controversial bond election strategies.

    “The customer service and survey fidelity, accuracy, and support for decision making significantly enhanced our referendum efforts and is easily a major contributing factor to our success.”
    – Michael Baumann, Superintendent, ISD No. 194 – Lakeville Area Schools