School taxes could increase by 8 percentIt doesn’t come as any surprise, but property values in the Hudson School District are expected to see less than a 1 percent increase for the 2008-09 school year.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
It doesn’t come as any surprise, but property values in the Hudson School District are expected to see less than a 1 percent increase for the 2008-09 school year.
The information was part of a report to the Hudson Board of Education at its meeting last week. District Director of Financial Services Tim Erickson said the state is estimating a 0.58 percent increase in property values in the district for the upcoming budget, the lowest increase in more than 20 years. That could translate into a mill rate of $7.60 per $1,000 of property value as compared to a rate of $7.04 last year.
Stressing that the numbers were all preliminary at this time, Erickson said that based on the new school budget, the levy would likely come in around $26,794,907, which is an 8.65 percent increase over last year’s levy.
The district is opening River Crest this fall, its sixth elementary school, and its operating costs are reflected in the new budget. The 2008-09 preliminary budget is estimated at $51.7 million, an increase of a little more than 6 percent over last year.
Erickson said that for the third consecutive year, the district would levy below the allowable state limit. According to the state’s worksheet, Hudson could levy as much as $27,664,318.
In reporting on the district’s general fund balance, Erickson said the estimated balance as of June 30 was $15,557,331. That reflects a decrease of $2.6 million that was used toward the construction of River Crest Elementary and the purchase of the new administrative service center.
In fiscal year 2009, an additional $500,000 would be used from the fund to offset general operations in the district and $1.3 million will be spent on River Crest, the remaining balance of the money allocated by the School Board for the project.
That brings the balance of the general fund to $13,757,331 or about $27 percent of the district’s operating budget. District policy calls for the fund balance to remain between 25-30 percent of the operating budget.
Erickson reported that the district will receive an additional $800,000 this year as the result of a TIF property coming on the tax rolls.
School Board member Brian Bell asked Erickson to prepare an updated monthly breakdown of the cash flow in the general fund to see if it is feasible to use more of the fund to offset costs.
Final figures on the budget and tax levy will not be available until the state sets the district’s property valuation this fall.
Erickson said his report would be made available on the district’s Web site at www.hudson.k12.wi.us, or he can be reached at his office at (715) 377-3704.