Referendum fuels hike in NOSD tax rate

Final school budget includes 37-cent increase for 2018-19
Ozaukee Press Staff

The $14.95 million referendum approved by Northern Ozaukee School District voters last spring is largely responsible for a 37-cent hike in the equalized tax rate for the 2018-19 school year, officials said Monday.

The School Board on Monday approved a $15.9 million expenditure budget and a $6.59 million tax levy for this year, an increase from last year’s budget of $15.15 million and levy of $6.09 million.

The expected tax rate of $10.43 per $1,000 equalized valuation reflects a 4.48% increase, or 37 cents.

Those increases can be attributed to the referendum, Supt. Dave Karrels and Dawn Laboy, the interim business manager, said.

“I think the public will be happy with that, that you kept it to what was promised with the referendum,” Laboy told the School Board.

The debt service budget is increasing about $650,000 due to the first bond offering by the district to pay for its school improvement project. A second borrowing is expected next fall. The debt is scheduled to be paid off in 20 years.

The school improvement initiative includes upgrades to classrooms and school grounds, the construction of a new cafeteria and creation of a new auditorium.    

The general fund budget of $12.06 million increased less than $100,000. Total revenues are $12 million, up slightly from the 2017-2018 school year and about $260,000 less than in 2016-2017.

The district’s budget is being helped by a 12.7% jump in state aid, the 27th-largest increase of the state’s 422 school districts.

Consequently, total state funding is $3.97 million, up from $3.41 million. Federal funding, meanwhile, is down significantly, from $116,320 to $66,827, Karrels said.

Other budget highlights presented to the board included a fund balance that has topped $1 million, equalized property values that grew 4.1% and a credit rating that improved three levels this year to A+.

Reporter Kristyn Halbig Ziehm contributed to this story.



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