01STOCK_MILTONSCHOOLS01

MILTON

The Milton School District preliminary budget calls for a 24.8% increase in the tax levy to cover payments on the district’s $59.9 million referendum.

Last year’s levy of $14.66 million would increase to $18.29 million this year under the preliminary budget.

The increase includes $2.9 million for debt service on the $59.9 million referendum passed in April, according to the preliminary budget.

“This is the principal and interest on the first year of the referendum payments,” said interim Superintendent Richard Dahman.

The referendum loan will be paid back over the next 20 years.

The tax rate for property owners in the district is expected to rise 17.2% to $9.15 per $1,000 of equalized value. That would be an increase of $1.34 from last year’s rate of $7.81.

Other district spending would rise 3% from $35.61 million last year to $36.72 million this year, under the preliminary budget.

The budget is based on estimates and can’t be finalized until the state provides final school aid figures in October, but Dahman said the district is planning on the increase.

He said the growth of the district has a lot to do with the increases.

“There’s always expenses that go up. As our district has grown student wise, we have more expenses there, too,” Dahman said.

The district’s general fund is expected to grow from $14.3 million to $15.1 million.

Dahman said nearly all of the general fund increase would pay for salary increases for some staff members, three new teaching positions and changes to the retirement system in the district.

The board will continue to work on the budget in the coming weeks as it receives more information from the state about funding, Dahman said.

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Reporter - Milton, Edgerton, Albany, Brodhead, Evansville, Footville, Orfordville