Friday, October 15, 2010

Referendum Update 10/15

Districts across the State have received their certification of aid from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). With these numbers now known, districts have a much easier time predicting the potential effects of a new referendum. Based on the amount of State aid, the District's equalized property values, and the number of students in the building, we have determined that the mill rate for this school year (effective November 1st) is 13.7 (this is up from the predicted 12.4-12.8 because of the sharp drop in equalized property values and the loss of some State aid).
This increase in mill rate is due to a couple of factors. First, the District's equalized property value fell sharply by approximately $2 million (this figure was provided to Districts during the first week of October); this in conjunction with a decrease of $100,000.00 in State aid and higher building bond payments than in previous years, caused the overall increase in the levy and corresponding mill rate.

What effect does this have on the proposed referendum?
First of all, the levy predictions have changed from what was previously given. In the first year of the new referendum (2011-2012) the predicted mill rate is: 15.0 (the previous prediction was 14.0-14.5). The predicted mill rate for for the second (2012-13) and third (2013-14) year of the proposed referendum are: 13.4 and 13.8 respectively.
It is important to emphasize that the largest increase in property taxes for school purposes will be from last year to this year. This would have happened REGARDLESS of plans to go to voters with a new referendum. Please keep in mind that the new referendum will not take effect until next school year (2011-2012)and that the relative cost to taxpayers if the new referendum passes is going to be roughly the same as was originally predicted.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Referendum Information

The District is holding 2 informational meetings regarding the planned referendum on Monday, October 11th and Tuesday, October 26th at 7:30pm in the high school library. Please feel free to attend either session.
I have also included some specifics regarding the planned use of the referendum dollars, as well as some projections regarding the levy and corresponding mill rate. Some of the information presented here can require explanation. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

Craig Broeren
715-455-1683 ext. 119

What is the plan for 2011-2012 and beyond?
· The strategic planning committee conducted a meeting on Monday, August 30th and outlined the following (The full Board of Education unanimously approved the resolution to go to referendum at the September 20th regular board meeting):
1. The new referendum should run for three (3) years
2. The amount in 11-12 should be $200,000.00
3. The amount in 12-13 and 13-14 should be $250,000.00

· What will comprise the $200,000.00 in 11-12?
1. Reinstatement of full-time PreK-12 Principal - $17,000.00- 39,000.00 (Health Insurance)
2. Continue Bus Purchase Rotation- $30,000.00- $60,000.00
3. Maintenance Projects
a. Replace water heater*- $25,000.00- $30,000.00
b. New gym bleacher update- $10,000.00- $24,000.00
c. Replace “Old Gym” Floor*- $90,000.00- $100,000.00
4. General Operations

· What will comprise the $250,000.00 in 12-13 and 13-14?
1. Reinstatement of full-time PreK-12 Principal - $17,000.00- 39,000.00 (Health Insurance)
2. Continue Bus Purchase Rotation- $30,000.00- $60,000.00
3. Maintenance Projects
a. Repair parking lots- $15,000.00- $30,000.00
b. Replace Sweeper- $9,000.00- $12,000.00
c. Update Lockers MS and HS $30,000.00- $35,000.00
d. Replace classroom carpets MS and HS- $25,000.00- $30,000.00 ($2500.00/ room)
e. Replace “Old Gym” Floor*- $90,000.00- $100,000.00
f. Replace Phone/ Bell Systems $25,000.00- $30,000.00
4. General Operations

Bolded items will take place over all 3 years of the referendum; Italic items are maintenance items that have a high enough cost that we will distribute payments over 2 or 3 years or more (MS/HS lockers could be done in 2 years and “old gym” floor may take 3 or more).

*-The District will make informed decisions regarding which maintenance projects to pursue at particular times. It is evident that the “old gym” floor is likely high on the list followed by the replacement of the water heater. The old gym floor replacement will likely have to be financed and paid over three to five years.

What will happen to the mill rate over time?
· Basically, we will experience a relatively high mill rate for the first year of the new referendum; this is due to the fact that we will still be paying on 2 building bonds. The PREDICTED mill rate is around 14.0.
· In the second year of the referendum, even though we will levy for $50,000.00 more, the mill rate will drop. The predicted mill rate is around 12.5.
· In the third year of the referendum, the mill rate is predicted to rise slightly to around 12.9.

All of these numbers are base on predictions. In calculating the levy, I have assumed:
- a $200.00 per student increase in State aid each year
- no change in property value
- slightly decreasing enrollment
If any of the factors above change positively or negatively, there will be a change in the levy and corresponding mill rate. I do know that the first year of the new referendum will likely carry the highest mill rate of the 3 years unless there are some drastic swings in student numbers and/ or changes in State funding.