School tax increase could top 8 percentThe Hudson Board of Education got a look at the 2009-10 preliminary school budget at their meeting last week and, as predicted, it will take an increase in school taxes of up to 8.25 percent to cover it.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
The Hudson Board of Education got a look at the 2009-10 preliminary school budget at their meeting last week and, as predicted, it will take an increase in school taxes of up to 8.25 percent to cover it.
The preliminary general operating budget for the new school year stands at $49,425,558, according to Financial Services Director Tim Erickson. The local property tax levy is estimated to be $28.4 million, which translates into a mill rate of $7.62 per $1,000 of property valuation. The calculations are based on no increase in the district’s current property valuation of $3,724,831,989.
Based on these numbers, the school taxes on a $200,000 home will increase by $116 from $1,408 to $1,524.
District Financial Services Director Tim Erickson told the board that the current budget figures include a cut in state aid to the district of $2.7 million as well as a $500,000 cut in purchased services over last year’s budget and some staff cuts. The proposed budget does include a wage increase for teachers although the current contract is still under negotiation.
Financial Services manager Jerrud Rossing said an increase was included in order to present the board with the worst-case scenario as it pertains to the tax levy.
Erickson told the board that if the teachers would agree to the board’s request for a wage freeze, the mill rate could drop to somewhere between a 4-5 percent increase rather than the 8 percent anticipated.
The preliminary nature of the budget also extends to the district’s property valuation and student enrollment. If the district’s property valuation should decrease rather than stay the same, the tax levy could increase. But the picture could improve if student enrollment goes up, which would increase state aid to the district.
The complete picture will not be available until after the district property valuation, student enrollment numbers and state aids are certified sometime in mid-October. By state statute, however, district residents are asked to certify the levy at the annual meeting Sept. 8. Any adjustments to it will be made at the October board meeting.
The Hudson School District’s annual meeting is scheduled for Sept. 8 at Hudson High School auditorium beginning at 7 p.m.
For more information about the district’s budget, contact Erickson or Rossing at (715) 377-3703 or go online at www.hudson.k12.wi.us.