Referendum does have tax implications

We are all grateful for the high-quality public schools in our community and praise the employees, volunteers and parents who make this a reality every day. My wife and I moved to Waunakee, like many young families, partly because of WCSD’s reputation. WCSD has sent, and will continue to be sending, communications about the upcoming 5-year, $2.1 million annual operating referendum question. Most of the statements in these communications are accurate, but one emphasized theme is misleading and other important information for context is not included.

Wisconsin has a law called “revenue limits” that places a cap on the amount of money that can be raised from property taxes for schools. WCSD’s revenue limit has increased $175 and $179 per student the last two years. Waunakee’s growing enrollment has further augmented our district budget. We are in a better funding position than the average Wisconsin school district. Despite this growing budget, we are one of the 27 school districts, out of 421, with an operational referendum this November. Many of these other districts have students in-person full time or hybrid and are incurring COVID-related expenses as well.

With few exceptions, to go above those limits a referendum is needed. If approved, raising said funds requires increased taxes. If you divide the requested $2.1 million into WCSD’s roughly $3.1 billion of property value, you get just under $40 per $100,000 of property value after state aid. This is about $151 per year for the median $380,000 home in Waunakee.

WCSD has said this referendum will have “no tax impact.” This is misleading as it is only true in year one. Using an exception, WCSD has already voted to tax beyond the revenue limit to repay debt faster. Tapping into these funds would be covered by the referendum. However, this special levy will expire next year. Without the referendum taxes would return to the normal legal maximum. Passing the referendum raises taxes for years two through five.

If the referendum fails, WCSD can return this spring with a better handle on actual COVID costs during the same fiscal year. Waunakee would support a one-year referendum to recover COVID expenses if WCSD could demonstrate the need after economizing. 93% of school districts have figured it out without a November referendum, Waunakee can too. You have a choice other than to raise taxes in 2024 because of COVID. Check out www.facebook.com/WCSDfacts.

John Soper

A man of his word

Donald Trump is a man of his word. His 2017 promise to “drain the swamp” is finally happening. Newly released documents expose the Clinton-backed 4-year. Russian hoax, which President Obama, Joe Biden, and John Brennen were all aware of.

The American people need to know the corruption and the attempts to get rid of a sitting president. Even President Trump’s claims that his campaign in 2016 was spied on are proving correct.

In spite of attacks from the left and 90% of the media, his accomplishments are amazing. Here are some of the examples: tax cuts, illegal immigration, trade, federal courts, rebuilt military, veteran benefits, law and order, energy, religious liberty, criminal justice reform, war on terror, etc.

So how can we reward our President? After 4 years of putting up with all the attacks and stress, don’t you think that he deserves our show of support by voting for him in this election?

I’m afraid that if Joe Biden wins, all the exposed evidence will be whitewashed and the American people will never learn the extent of what has been going on.

Astrid Faust

To build a better future, we cannot ignore the past

The constitution is a reflection of the era it was written. I have tremendous respect for our Framers and the job they did. It is the greatest compliment that we have had so few amendments to the foundational documents of our country.

However, we cannot ignore the fact that there was systemic racism and sexism in the founding of our country viewed through the lens of the 21st century. Slavery was based on race, and slaves were not even considered to be a full white man in terms of proportioning representation. The 3/5ths compromise is expressed clearly in the document. Yes, a strictly textualist reading could result in a statement the document doesn’t address race or gender. However, this reading is intellectually dishonest.

Why would we need to pass an amendment to disavow slavery if it wasn’t an issue? Because the Constitution was constructed in a way that allowed States to have the right to continue an abhorrent practice of racially based enslavement because all rights not articulated as federal rights default to the states. Slavery was not outlawed at the federal level until the 13th Amendment. The fact we needed an amendment to override the rights of the slave states speaks to the fact the Constitution defacto approved slavery, which itself was based on race.

The same for the rights of women to vote. There is no statement that they cannot vote in the Constitution; however, the failure of our forefathers to articulate the right of women to vote allowed states to discriminate against women until the 20th Amendment.

To a textualist, rights not clearly articulated in our founding documents do not exist. We cannot ignore the social context where a document was created. The right to freedom of you were black and in a southern state, or the right to vote if you were a woman did not exist until amendments were passed to grant these rights. We cannot practice selective amnesia by pretending silence was equalizing when it comes to the history.

Ann Lewandowski

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