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District projects levy drop

Other factors could affect final numbers

June 8, 2011

Fox Point - The property tax levy for residents living within the Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District is set to decrease 4.19 percent, based on a preliminary 2011-12 budget approved by the School Board last week.

Business Administrator Gary Swalve presented the board with an $8 million district budget - about $200,000 less than the $8.2 million budget for the current school year. The levy, the district's largest source of income, is set to decrease by about $300,000, from $7 million in 2010-11 to slightly more than $6.7 million in the upcoming school year.

Swalve said a number of certainties are built into the budget, including a 3.8 percent reduction in health insurance rates and a $19,456 savings from a restructuring of the district's business office.

At the same time, there are a number of unknowns that will be firmed up into October, when the levy will be certified and sent to municipal clerks in preparation of 2011 tax bills.

"The revenue limit formula continues to be the factor that most determines total budget allocation and is driven by resident enrollment, which will not be finalized until the third Friday in September," Swalve said.

Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget repair bill could also impact Maple Dale-Indian Hill. Swalve said the bill, as proposed, reduces the district's taxing authority by about $350,000.

Since the passage of a 10-year referendum in 2009, the district has aimed to place money in its fund balance reserves. As more information has become available, Swalve said he anticipates a greater amount of money going into the reserves in 2011-12 than initially thought.

When he first introduced the preliminary 2011-12 budget in April, Swalve said he anticipated placing $134,000 into fund balance; that figure has since been refined to $278,000.

The district will hold its budget hearing and annual meeting next month.

- Dave Fidlin

NEXT STEP

WHAT: Maple Dale-Indian Hill's 2011-12 budget and property tax levy is scheduled to be acted on by electors at the district's annual meeting.

WHEN: 7 p.m. July 13

WHERE: Maple Dale School, 8377 N. Port Washington Road

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