District’s residents to see lower mill rate
By Angie Landsverk
Taxpayers in the Weyauwega-Fremont School District will see a slight decrease in the mill rate that supports their schools.
The school board adopted a 2015-16 expenditure budget of $9.1 million by a vote of 6-0 on Monday, Oct. 26.
Kurt Duxbury was absent, and the vote took place at a special meeting of the board, following this year’s hearing and annual meeting on the budget.
The budget represents a .018 percent increase over last year’s budget and will be supported by a levy of $5.04 million, which compares to the 2014-15 levy of $4.86 million.
The school district mill rate will be $8.32 per $1,000 of property value, 2 cents less than the present school mill rate of $8.34.
That means the owner of a $100,000 home in the school district will pay $832.27 to support the local public schools, which is $1.62 less than the $833.89 that same home owner paid to support the district’s 2014-15 budget.
District Administrator Scott Bleck said this year’s full-time equivalency enrollment average is 860.
That number is a three-year rolling average based on enrollment counts which include the third Friday count in September and the summer school enrollment.
That number was 869 a year ago and was 885 in 2013 and 909 in 2012.
Bleck noted that this year’s third Friday count in September was 866.
“With enrollments slightly declining – a trend seen in rural communities throughout the country – revenue limits decline,” he said.
For the 2015-16 school year, the district’s revenue limit is $8.13 million, which is a $99,258 reduction from the previous school year.
The amount of general state aid the distrit will receive this year is down $160,084.
The school district’s equalized valuation increased 1.5 percent.
“We’re a property rich district, so more funding is from the local stakeholders than state aid,” Bleck said.
During the budget presentation, Business Manager Drew Niehans said the district learned on Oct. 21 that local school districts are responsible for paying for the voucher school students in their districts.
“The district has five students using the vouchers,” he said.
Next spring, the district will pay $47,160 out of its state aid for those vouchers, Niehans said.
The school district’s allowed revenue limit for those voucher students is $55,187.
This is the first year local school districts are seeing this.
“Going forward, I believe those two numbers should be more similar,” Niehans said of the revenue limit allowed and the actual payment the district has to make.
The 2015-16 levy was first approved during the district’s annual meeting before the school board approved it during its special meeting.