Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Baldwin-Woodville Area School District has a Budget

The Baldwin-Woodville Area School District has a budget for the 2007-08 year.

It's late, but blame that on the Wisconsin legislature and governor which didn't pass a state budget with school aids figures until recently.

The budget for this school year was passed at a special meeting last Thursday, November 1.

B-W Superintendent of Schools Rusty Helland said he's disappointed that the legislature didn't get their job done and have the state's budget completed by the deadline. He added that there were winners and losers in the final budget that the state did pass. He said B-W was one of the losers, but only on a small scale to the tune of $7,070.

According to Superintendent Helland, back in July the Department of Public Instruction informed the B-W district that it would receive about $9,402,700 in state aid. However, the final budget included only $9,272,344 in state aid, a difference of $130,356.

But, in an effort to bridge that gap between what was expected and what was finally passed, the legislature increased the tax credit for schools and in B-W's case the amount that taxpayers will receive in credits is $123,286, or $7,070 less than the difference in what was expected in general school aid and what actually passed.

"I call it a rebate," said Superintendent Helland. "It will show up on property tax bills as a rebate." He noted, however, that the district has to levy from the taxpayers the difference in what was expected and what will be actually received. So school taxes will increase about eight cents per thousand, before the tax credit, making a mill rate of 9.53, compared to last year's of 9.45.

Helland said if the tax credit is considered the mill rate would be down by approximately .35.

"So the real bottom line, big picture is that school taxes are going down again," said Helland. "People say 'we pay more in taxes,' but the school taxes are going down per thousand. For the same value of property, you pay less for school taxes."

This year's B-W school budget is $18,198,505. Of that amount, state general aid accounts for $9,272,344. The remaining amount is not all placed on the tax levy because of other categories of aid received from both state and federal sources.

The final tax levy, excluding the amount of debt service, is $6,56,046,892, which is an increase of 4.46% over last year's budget. The levy for debt service is an additional $2,215,262.

The levy is supported by equalized valuation of $656,046,892 in the school district. That valuation is an increase of 3.55% over last year's equalized valuation.