Janesville65.5°

Taxes will be up for Clinton schools

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ANN MARIE AMES
October 22, 2008
— The property tax rate for the Clinton School District will go up this year for the first time since 2000.

Voters on Nov. 4 will determine exactly what the increase will be when they decide whether to approve a $9.63 million referendum for upgrades to district schools.


The tax rate will increase to:


-- $10.23 per $1,000 equalized value if the referendum fails.


-- $11.31 if it passes.


Last year's tax rate was $10.07.


The referendum asks voters' permission for changes mostly at the elementary school, including improving traffic safety at the bus drop-off point, replacing old boilers with a geothermal heating and cooling system and expanding some classrooms. A "yes" vote would approve security upgrades at all three schools.


The district's budget for this year will be $13.37 million compared to $12.92 last year. The budget does not include the money to improve the schools.


The increase in property taxes will make up for a drop in state aid, Business Administrator Kathy Zwirgzdas said. State aid to the district is up only 0.23 percent over last year, she said.


In the last seven years, aid has increased between 1.7 percent and 7.6 percent annually, board President Randy Gracyalny said.


The state calculates aid by dividing a district's property values by the number of resident students and comparing it to districts across the state, Zwirgzdas said. Both numbers are unusual in Clinton this year, she said.


Despite a record high of 89 students coming into the district through open enrollment, the number of resident students—kids who live in and go to school in the district—is down.


That means that for the first time in seven years, property values per resident student grew faster than the state average, Gracyalny said. In the Clinton district, property value per resident student grew 8.91 percent compared to 6.64 percent statewide, he said.


CLINTON SCHOOL DISTRICT

A look at the tentative 2008-09 budget for the Clinton School District:


Highlights: The district has set one of two mill rates—one if the Nov. 4 referendum passes or the other if it doesn't. Either way, the mill rate will increase. It's the first time the rate hasn't gone down since 2000. District officials attribute the change to a decrease in state aid. On Nov. 4, voters could approve a $9.63 million in improvements, mostly at the elementary school.


Total budget


This year: $13.2 million


Last year: $13 million


Increase: 1.7%


Tax levy


This year: $4.22 million


Last year: $4.01 million


Increase: 5.08%


Tax rate if the Nov. 4 referendum fails


(Per $1,000 of equalized valuation)


This year: $10.23


Last year: $10.07


Increase: 1.59%


Tax rate if the Nov. 4 referendum passes


(Per $1,000 of equalized valuation)


This year: $11.31


Last year: $10.07


Increase: 12.31%


Note: Percent changes calculated on whole numbers.

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