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Griffith votes to secede from township

GRIFFITH, Ind. (AP) — Officials in a northwestern Indiana town say voters have overwhelmingly approved a referendum calling for the community to secede from a Lake County township in a bid to lower the local tax rate.

Griffith town officials say about 97 percent of the roughly 3,300 residents who cast ballots Tuesday voted for the town to secede from Calumet Township. Final vote totals are expected within 10 days.

Town Council President Rick Ryfa says Griffith has been paying more than $2.1 million annually in taxes to the township but gets little in return. He says Calumet Township's tax rate is nearly four times higher than other neighboring townships.

The township includes the city of Gary, where a large percentage of the population lives below the poverty line and seeks township aid.