Elk Mound Board of Education approves preliminary 2017-2018 budget despite stalemate in state legislature

By Cara L. Dempski

ELK MOUND — The Elk Mound Board of Education was not put off by the lack of a signed state budget for the 2017-2019 biennium last week when it approved this year’s preliminary budget.

The initial 2017-2018 budget numbers were presented and discussed at special meeting held July 24 prior to the regular monthly board meeting. District superintendent Eric Wright reminded the group and district residents in attendance that the budget is not set in stone.

[emember_protected] “Remember, this is a preliminary budget,” Wright said. “It’s our best guess at this point. With the state budget looming, there’s a lot of things coming and going.”

Wright explained the bulk of the district’s revenue and expenditures flows through the general fund (Fund 10). The projected total revenues and expenses for the 2017-2018 general fund is $12,004,735. The vast majority of that money will come from state equalized aid, which Wright anticipates will be roughly $8.2 million.

The preliminary budget document indicates the per pupil adjusted aid for the upcoming school year will be approximately $350, representing a $100 per student increase from the 2016-2017 budget.

The budget currently before the state legislature proposes a per-student categorial aid increase of $200 per student.

“We will adjust that number as necessary when the state budget is finalized,” Wright said as way of explaination for the conservative estimated increase.

The Fund 10 budget represents a 1.2 percent increase of the 2016-2017 budget numbers.

The local tax levy projection shows a slight increase, with the district asking for $1,881,448 from taxpayers. Despite the $10,000 total increase, mill rates have dropped significantly from $8.74 per thousand dollars of property value last year to $8.35 for 2017-2018.

This represents an overall gross levy of $2,756,654 after the Fund 39 referendum-approved debt service amount of $875,206 is added to the Fund 10 levy.

However, people will only see the slight benefit of the lower mill rate for the school district levy if nothing changes for their municipal or county levies, which have not yet been determined for 2018.

Wright explained the gross levy increased nearly $8,000 between last year and this year, but the mill rates dropped due to an increase in taxable property across the district.

The board approved the preliminary budget, which will be presented to the public at the annual budget hearing scheduled for August 21 at 8 p.m. [/emember_protected]