Tax rate to drop $1.08 thanks to spending cuts, increase in state funding
Northern Ozaukee School District Supt. Dave Karrels had an easy time Monday presenting his first school budget.
It helped that all of the numbers fell the district’s way.
“It is all good news,” Karrels said during his presentation on the proposed 2015-16 budget as part of a public hearing that failed to draw any residents.
“Spending is down, the levy is down and the tax rate is down.”
Karrels, who was named superintendent just prior to the start of the current school year, credited Business Manager Julie Wicker for doing much of the legwork in setting up the spending plan.
When spending cuts proposed by the administration and the board’s Finance Committee were combined with an unexpected increase in state aids, the School Board was able to reduce the operating tax levy by $489,606.
The overall levy was set at just over $6 million, which includes $5.1 million in Fund 10 — or general operating — expenses.
State aid rose from $2.7 million last year to just over $3 million for the new spending cycle.
“That is a pretty big jump, which means great news for the taxpayer,” Karrels said.
After a pattern of declining value, the district’s equalized valuation rose for the second consecutive year, to $568 million.
That represents a 1.6% increase.
When all of those factors were combined in the budget, the school tax rate dropped $1.08 per $1,000 of property value.
The new rate is $10.72 per $1,000. For a home valued at $150,000, that will translate into a school tax bill lowered by $162.
With no objections, the board unanimously approved the budget and tax levy.