Though a few variables are still to be determined, residents within the Greenfield School District’s boundaries will likely see little change when it comes to the school portion of their tax bill.
Twenty-eight electors, including all seven School Board members, approved a tax levy of slightly more than $25 million, or just a 0.26 percent increase over last year, at Monday’s annual meeting and budget hearing.
“This levy is very fair and meets the needs of our district,” School Board member Cathy Walsh said.
The total budget is $45.6 million, with $35.7 million going toward the general fund, or the operating budget.
If the city’s assessed value remains the same, the owner of a $175,000 home would pay $2,009.10 in school taxes, or $5.12 more than a year ago.
That number could change based on the district’s third-Friday pupil count and the final state aid number, which is not released until Oct. 15. The budget and tax levy presented Monday assumed a flat pupil rate and the Department of Public Instruction’s estimate of $382,650 as of July 1.
“It is critical to know that before we can calculate,” final numbers, said Director of Business Services Kristin Kollath, who gave Monday’s budget presentation. “We do use our assumptions and best guesses at this point.”
Kollath told electors the district saved $1 million in 2011-12 thanks to Acts 10 and 32 that required employees to contribute to the Wisconsin Retirement System. She said the district also made changes to health insurance plans as of Jan. 1, 2012, instituting a high deductible plan of $2,000 for an individual and $4,000 for a family.
To help offset those out-of-pocket costs, the district set up a health reimbursement account in the amount of $1,500 for individuals and $3,000 for families. That money can be used as needed or rolled over to future years, as long as an employee is with the district for five years.
“It really put the decision in the employee’s hands,” she said. “If they needed it financially, they could use it, or they could roll it over year to year.”
No one publicly spoke against the budget or the tax levy at Monday’s meeting.
Board salaries remain the same
In other action at the meeting, board member salaries were set at $4,200 by an 18-5 majority, the same amount it's been since 1997. Board members will also be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses when traveling in the performance of duties (passed 23-1).
They will also be reimbursed, as they have been, for actual loss of earnings for attendance at events that require them to be absent from their regular employment (passed 17-3).
Board member Don Carlson proposed a salary of $3,780.
"I understand salaries have not changed since 1997 and I can’t argue that the $4,200 isn’t deserved," Carlson said. "However, in these uncertain times when many of our citizens are suffering, I feel board members should also make sacrifices.”
Packers schedule taken into account
Carlson also suggest that the electors hold off on setting the date for the 2013 annual meeting until after the Green Bay Packers schedule is released next April.
It was also announced the board's regularly scheduled meeting slated for Sept. 24 has been moved to Oct. 1 because the Packers play on Monday Night Football.