LETTER: NOSD has a surplus; why does it need a vote to raise taxes?

To Ozaukee Press:

According to Dictionary.com, education is “the act or process of imparting

or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.” Education forms our thoughts, our imagination and our creativity. Education creates an environment where our thoughts and views are not only challenged or accepted, but can also change our viewpoints on issues based on evidence, facts and research presented.

When it comes to education, everyone wants what is best for future generations.  The operational referendum proposed by the Northern Ozaukee School District appears to be necessary in order to continue to provide the resources to educate our youth, but digging into the details of this referendum, is it really what is best for our community?

Looking at the facts, the referendum is not a $1.7 million referendum; it is an $8.5 million referendum (that is $1.7 million for the next five years). It was stated that this operational referendum would not increase school taxes. In reality, the direct impact of the referendum is a 2.1% increase in the mill rate for the next five years. This represents $630 each year for the next five years for a home assessed at $300,000.

According to the NOSD’s Schedule of Revenues, Expenditures and Changes in

Fund Balance Budget and Actual Year, ending June 30, 2022, the district ended the year with an $851,893 surplus. Why is an operational referendum considered

if the district is posting a surplus?

One also has to question why in the 10-Year Capital Plan for the academic

year 2023-2024 an expense of $1.02 million is earmarked for a new track and in

the same year $500,000 is earmarked for a new maintenance building? Are these essential to the operation of educating our children?

NOSD has been pursuing an Outdoor Facility Plan since 2021. On April 28, 2021, I was quoted in the Ozaukee Press saying that I liked the fact that phase one

of the plan will rely on private donations rather than tax dollars. I continue to stand by that statement.

I believe that schools need to address the problem of decreasing family sizes

and class sizes and explore real solutions. Possible solutions include merging with neighboring districts, just as our local EMS and fire department have been actively working on.

Education is about being challenged, questioning our viewpoints and exploring new options. I urge NOSD residents to research, ask questions and make an informed decision in the April 4 election.

Joshua Haas



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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