The McFarland School District (MSD) will host its annual meeting and budget hearing at 7 p.m. Monday at Waubesa Intermediate School. The meeting allows electors to vote on the presented budget.

The 2019-20 anticipated budget was printed in this week’s and last week’s edition of The Herald-Independent and McFarland Thistle, though district business manager Jeff Mahoney said the amounts that will be presented Monday have slightly shifted from what was published. This is due in part to the July 1 release of estimated state aid.

The Department of Public Instruction is estimating the McFarland School District will receive $12.4 million in general state aid. This represents a 10.6 percent increase from the 2018-19 budget, when the district was granted $11.2 million in general state aid.

“The state aid formula continues to work well with MSD and is helping to produce a lower than expected growth in its levy of only 2.7 percent, coupled with continued equalized value growth of both new and existing values of about 5 percent, will work out to a decrease in the equalized mill rate per $1,000 of value of about 2.19 percent,” Mahoney said.

The proposed budget does have a significant drop in gross total net expenses. The business director said the $60 million amount (a 35 percent decrease compared to 2018-19) represents fewer construction costs for the upcoming fiscal year.

The tax levy for the 2019-20 school year, set prior to July 1, was $12.05 per $1,000 of valuation, a less than 7 cent increase compared to last year. Mahoney added this number was formulated under the assumption of a 5 percent increase in equalized value. However, with the recent release of estimated state aid numbers, the district business manager is anticipating a decreased mill rate.

Mahoney said taxpayers should remember the final 2019-20 budget will be certified in November, after the final enrollment numbers, state equalization aid and final equalized value are determined.

In the last several years, the McFarland School District’s budget presented during the annual meeting has not been too far off the final tax levy.

Last year, the levy set in late October was $11.98 per $1,000 of property value; this was 1 cent less than what was presented in July.

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