The Badger School District enrollment has declined from 233 a year ago to 216 as of December 7, 2018. At the same time, property valuations, especially commercial, have “skyrocketed,” Badger Superintendent Tom Jerome said.
This enrollment decline and property tax valuation increase– both impacting the amount of aid coming into the district– have combined to create what Jerome called a “perfect storm” at the district’s Truth in Taxation Meeting on December 10.
“Those two factors combined are affecting our equalization formulas,” Jerome said, “which means for us, our school district, if you certify at the maximum amount, that our district, regardless of what you do, is receiving less revenue 2018 payable 2019 then we received in 2017 payable 2018.”
Specifically, the district is receiving 5.54% less in state aid and $74,896.56 less in total revenue for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
The property valuation increases are making the district look more “property rich,” Jerome explained, triggering changes in those formulas, combined with the enrollment decline.
Although the board does not have control over the property classifications or valuations, it does however have the ability to certify the levy at the maximum amount or at a reduced rate.
“I am suggesting you certify at the maximum amount,” Jerome said. “I am sympathetic to taxpayers, but I am not taking ownership for the accessors and what they have done to property owners. I didn’t have any input, none of us had any input on that.”
The board certified the local tax levy at the maximum, amounting to a $53,989.06 increase, or a difference of 17.24% from the last fiscal year, funds spread out amongst district residents.
To see the complete Badger School Board story, read the December 12 issue of The Tribune in print or online.