School budget with slight cut in tax rate gets final approval

Increase in districtwide valuation helps offset loss in state aid, hike in levy
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Grafton School Board on Monday unanimously approved a 2019-20 budget that will be supported by a slight decrease in the tax rate.

Business Services Director Topher Adams presented a spending package including a $0.36 decrease in the tax rate, from $10.57 per $1,000 of property valuation last year to $10.21 per $1,000 for the current year.

Adams said the supporting levy for 2019-20 will be $16.24 million, an $831,374 increase from last year. 

Each year, school districts calculate their revenue limit based on three-year averages of student enrollment. Within that limit, a district receives state aid based on student enrollment, spending per student and property values in the district.

Adams said Grafton expects a 19-student decrease in its average enrollment over three years, with the current state budget providing a $175 increase per student aid. 

The operating budget for the 2019-20 school year is $24.53 million. 

The district’s referendum debt for its $39.9 million school facilities project is also included in the levy. The referendum levy to pay the debt is $2.53 million. 

Adams said the decrease in the tax rate is expected to be offset by a 5.38% increase in equalized property values in  the district, which will also offset a decrease in state aid.

“When you have a drop in membership, especially coupled with an increase in property values, you’re going to have a loss in state aid,” he said. 

Grafton’s state aid is decreasing by $928,240 from last year, but the district will see a $738,582 increase in its levying authority.




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