Boyceville reviews $8.2 million school budget

By LeAnn R. Ralph

BOYCEVILLE — The proposed $8.2 million budget for the Boyceville Community School District will carry a tax levy of $3.1 million, representing a 4.23 percent decrease in the levy over last year.

Boyceville Board of Education members and electors in the school district reviewed the 2012-2013 budget at the budget hearing and annual meeting October 15.

The levy that will be approved at Board of Education meeting October 29 will be $3,137,731.

This year’s tax levy represents a decrease of about $139,000.

Equalized property value in the district has decreased by 4.4 percent over last year, noted Kevin Sipple, district administrator.

Even though the tax levy will decrease, the decrease in equalized property value means that the mill rate will increase slightly, he noted.

Last year’s mill rate was $12.44 per $1,000 of property value. This year’s mill rate will be $12.45 per $1,000 of property value.

The increase in the mill rate amounts to 0.1 percent.

Equalized value in the school district this year is nearly $252 million, which compares to an equalized value last year of a little over $263 million.

Equalized value hit an all-time high in the school district of $285 million in 2008.

In 1990, the equalized value was $71 million.

Over the last two years, property values in the school district have decreased by 9.5 percent, Sipple said.

On the positive side, the Boyceville school district will be receiving an increase in state aid of $115,077, he said.

The school district also will receive an increase in Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) funding of about $45,000, from $245,000 last year to $288,000 for this year.

For the first time in “many, many years,” student enrollment has increased, Sipple said said.

The Third Friday in September count last year was 762, and the third Friday count this year was 775.

Other budget highlights include a food service fund balance of nearly $130,000. Last year, the food service fund balance was a little over $80,000. In 2010-2011, the food service fund balance was about $18,000.

The community service fund began the year with a balance of $147,600, and the budget for 2012-2013 will include $60,000 from the tax levy.

After refinancing the district’s debt in January, the debt service payment for 2012 will be nearly $1.4 million but drops to $1.3 million in 2013 and remains stable until 2019.

In 2020, the debt service payment drops to about $1 million and by 2024 will be down to about $500,000 annually.

Gail Stark, president of the Board of Education, noted that the state has diverted $158 million in school aid to private school choice in Milwaukee and Racine.

The diverted funds resulted in a reduction in state aid to the Boyceville Community School District of $60,000, Sipple said.