JEFFERSON — School District of Jefferson taxpayers will see a lower tax rate for the 2019-20 year, coming in at $10.47 per $1,000 equalized valuation.

That compares to about 87 cents below the $11.35 per $1,000 equalized value for the 2018-19 school year.

On Monday, the School District of Jefferson Board of Education set the final tax rate for the current school year and approved final budget adjustments following the receipt of the final budget numbers from the state.

As of Friday, the district had received the last elements it needed from the state to set the mill rate and make final budget adjustments, said Laura Peachey, director of business services for the Jefferson schools.

The School District of Jefferson Board of Education received an update on the budget Monday from Peachey, who shared it with the school board.

She said that the Fund 10 (general fund) levy will be $8,005,232, an increase of $442,841 from that projected in August.

The Fund 30 (debt service) levy will remain at $3,228,687, as projected in August.

The Fund 80 (community service) levy also will remain the same as projected in August, at $47,441.

That brings the total levy of all funds to $11,281,360, the maximum allowed under the district’s revenue limit authority.

Calculating in the increase in equalized property value in the district, which rose 7.23 percent this year, the district’s tax rate would decrease by about 87 cents to $10.47 per $1,000 equalized property value.

As of Monday’s meeting, the Jefferson school district also needed to adjust for its actual exempt personal property aid as determined by the State of Wisconsin.

District planners had penciled in $46,466 in computer aid as they were developing the district’s preliminary budget, but the actual amount came in at $41,098.

That amounts to a decrease of $5,368.

Another adjustment made at Monday’s school board meeting was to decrease the budgeted amount for state equalization aid from $12,290,347 to $12,221,083. The district will be receiving $69,264 less than originally budgeted.

Additionally, the board had to change its per-pupil adjustment aid from $1,259,604 to $1,255,680.

The above revenue adjustments equal an increase available on the expenditure side of the budget of $360,789.

Peachey explained that this change came about through a combination of factors within the revenue limit formula. These included an increase in the district’s declining enrollment exemption amount, transfer-of-service, and non-recurring exemptions.

Peachey delineated the following budget adjustments needed to account for the increase in the district’s revenue limit:

First, the board needed to increase private school voucher payments by $254,660.

Private school voucher amounts are released by the state and the local public school districts do not receive information other than the total to be added to the local school district levy to cover these private school students.

The district receives no information on who those students are or where/whether they live in the district, Peachey has said at prior meetings.

Second, the district needed to decrease the net gain school planners had expected to see via open enrollment by $106,129.

(It should be noted that the district’s open enrollment remains on the positive side and is, in fact, at record numbers, but budget planners initially had budgeted for an even bigger increase in open enrollment, so the preliminary budget number needed to be taken down.)

All of the above adjustments bring the School District of Jefferson’s 2019-20 budget into balance between revenues and expenditures.

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