The Waunakee Board of Education held its annual meeting at the district administration building Monday night. Among the items discussed was the 2019-2020 tax levy.
Business Manager Steve Summers highlighted its importance as a revenue stream for the district.
“There are two main sources of revenue,” Summers said. “State aid is one of them, and the local property tax is the other…The school board is allowed, by law, to change the tax levy as necessary prior to November.”
Summers explained that the levy is determined by the state of Wisconsin’s revenue-limit formula – an equation that essentially caps the amount of revenue a school district can collect each year.
He said changes to that formula have resulted in the district receiving additional funding.
“The revenue-cap formula was increased by $175 a student,” Summers said. “In addition, a state categorical aid was provided in the amount of $88 per student. As a result, our budget-planning process identified $1.8 million worth of new resources for the district.”
Summers said, considering that a district’s revenue limit is correlated to its enrollment numbers, Waunakee Community School District can expect increased funding from the state.
“Our enrollment in the district continues to increase,” Summers said. “And as we move forward, we expect to see very similar patterns. One of the things that we always track is the capacity of our schools versus the enrollment.”
According to Summers, enrollment has increased by 36 students from the 2018-19 school year.
As a result, the district should receive $26,712 in additional per-pupil aid payments from the state compared to last year.
“Per-pupil aid is still relatively new in the Wisconsin school funding formula,” Summers said. “Going back to ’12-13, it was 0.5 percent. Today, it’s 6.1 percent of all revenues that we receive as a school district.”
The school board ultimately recommended a tax levy of $31,541,225.
Twenty-three million dollars would go into the general fund, $7 million toward debt service, half a million would be for capital expansion and $400,000 for community service.
The levy was adopted with unanimous support from members of the public.
The school board will meet again Oct. 28 at which time the tax rate will be finalized.