School District of Tomahawk hosting Annual Meeting Tuesday, Sept. 14
By Terry Reynolds
School District of Tomahawk Administrator
TOMAHAWK – Each summer, school district officials prepare a budget proposal/estimation for the coming school year to be presented at an “Annual Meeting.”
This year’s Annual Meeting for the School District of Tomahawk will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 6 p.m.
The purpose of an Annual Meeting is to provide members of the electorate a proposed budget, which is very preliminary, that describes how revenues are anticipated to be obtained and how funds are anticipated to be spent.
The revenue portion of the budget is developed for presentation with a couple of “guesstimates.” One of the major factors is that of student enrollment. Official student enrollment for computation purposes in the budget development will not be known until after the third Friday in September. This component is a significant element in determining the total amount of state aids and local tax levy revenue, which may be available under current statutory guidelines.
At this time, we are anticipating that our “rolling three-year average” for student enrollment will again indicate some decline from last year’s “three-year average.” This has been and continues to be troublesome for us financially.
Another major factor related to our annual budget development is the determination of equalized valuation of property which lies within the district boundaries. These values will not be known until mid-October.
The property valuation component is significant in determining how much of the revenue allowed under the current state revenue cap will come in the form of local property tax levy versus state aid. For the purpose of the preliminary budget development, we have been using our Spring DPI projections, which indicate slight growth from last year. In the end (October), we are hopeful that this percentage will be larger than expected.
Based on information which exists as of this writing, with speculation on the areas described above, the projected budget for 2021-22 will change last year’s mil rate of $9 “per thousand of equalized property valuation” to an estimated $6.99 per thousand. This large decrease is mainly due to the failed referendum and loss of $3,000,000.00 in tax revenue.
This “projection” is developed and could change due to varying factors which include: Unanticipated loss or gain of additional students in the Third Friday enrollment data; and any decrease or increase in the estimated October property valuation data.
Every School Board of Education in Wisconsin has the statutory authority (ss.120.12(3)) and ultimate responsibility to “set the budget and certify the levy” for each school year on or before Nov. 1. It is at that time all the data necessary to finalize the school budgets are known.
The Tomahawk School Board will be certifying the levy at a special meeting in late October.
This district continues to be very grateful to the Tomahawk-area communities for your continued support of the School District of Tomahawk. Thank You!
The district’s budget has followed and been under strict state revenue limit guidelines for many years now, since 1993. While concerns exist for future budgetary needs and the state’s lack of commitment to funding public schools adequately, the administration and Board of Education work very hard and are committed to maintaining the best educational programming which our budget will allow for the students in our schools.