School board passes 2016-17 budget
By Robert CloudDespite a steady decline in state aid, the Waupaca School District continues to levy taxes below its state-mandated limits.
The Waupaca School Board unanimously approved a $15.87 million combined levy to support a nearly $32 million budget for the 2016-17 school year.
Of the combined levy, $12.72 million is for general operating expenditures, while $3.15 is for debt service.
Waupaca will receive $8.49 million in general aid from the state in 2016-17, a $217,576 increase over last year.
Carl Hayek, the district’s business manager, told the board state aid to the district has dropped by more than $3.85 million over the past eight years.
“The general state aid loss shifts the burden to property taxes,” Hayek said.
Over the same period of time, the district’s property taxes have gone up by nearly $3.5 million.
“We could have taxed more,” Hayek said.
However, the Waupaca School District has taxed below its allowable revenue limit every year since the 2009-10 budget.
In the 2016-17 budget, Waupaca will levy a projected $1.14 million below its state-mandated revenue cap.
Over the past eight budgets, Waupaca has set its property taxes a total of $15.77 million below its caps.
Hayek said Waupaca is one of only eight school districts statewide to levy under its revenue cap by at least $1 million.
The district’s 2016-17 property tax rate is estimated to be $10.98 per $1,000 of equalized valuation.
That represents a drop in the mill rate of 66 cents from last year.