Mequon — On a 61-3 vote, residents of the Mequon-Thiensville School District approved an increased budget and tax levy for the coming 2013-14 school year at the district's annual meeting Monday.
The district's total budget will increase by 3.2 percent, while the total local tax levy will increase by 1 percent.
Extrapolating the recent trend of decreasing home values to include another 3 percent decrease, business director Gail Grieger estimates the district tax rate to increase 60 cents from last year to $9.28 per $1,000 of assessed property value, a 6.9 percent increase. Should property values remain flat, Grieger estimates the tax rate to increase to $9 per $1,000 of assessed value, a 3.6 percent increase.
For someone with a $300,000 home, a 6.9 percent increase would mean an extra $180 on the district tax bill compared to last year, while a 3.6 percent increase would mean an extra $96.
Driving the increased budget are several strategic plan items the School Board has approved in recent months, including a human resources director, communications director, expansion of advanced placement classes at Homestead and increased staff training on data collection.
Approximately $775,000 worth of security upgrades will be paid for out of district reserves — more than half of the 3.2 percent budget increase, Grieger said.
Her estimates assume a slight decrease in general state aid. Should that aid remain about flat, as the state Department of Public Instruction is projecting, the overall levy increase could decrease to less than 1 percent, with the tax rate decreasing slightly as well, Grieger said.
— Michael Meidenbauer
BY THE NUMBERS
increase in district budget
increase in district tax levy
increase in tax rate, assuming decrease in district property values
estimated tax rate, per $1,000 of assessed value, using same assumption