Glendale - In anticipation of the school district's annual budget hearing next month, Glendale-River Hills officials have approved a tentative 2011-12 budget that includes a roughly 2 percent increase in the tax levy and less than a 1 percent decrease in the equalized tax rate.
The School Board last week gave the green light to publish the $12.3 million budget and present it to residents. According to projections, the district will be asking for electors' approval to increase the levy - the district's largest source of income - from $11.35 million to $11.59 million.
District Administrator Larry Smalley said further tweaks will likely be made to the budget and levy after the hearing. Glendale-River Hills will tally enrollment counts at Parkway Elementary and Glen Hills Middle schools on Sept. 16 and present figures to the state Department of Public Instruction for final determination on the amount of state equalization aid, the district's second-largest source of income.
"(The proposed budget) reflects our understanding of the state of Wisconsin's budget at this time," Smalley said. "It will undoubtedly have to be changed before the final approval in October."
Despite working with an initial $450,000 deficit, Smalley said the district has a 2011-12 budget that is balanced, maintains all programs and stays true to the overall mission of attempting to reach all students.
The deficit was shored up through a number of cost-savings measures in recent months. They include:
a reduction in health insurance premiums by $100,000;
not filling a curriculum director position in 2011-12 and saving $125,000;
a reduction in retirement costs from previous contract agreements by $100,000; and
shifting band and orchestra programs from the district's general operating budget to a fund that supports the Nicolet Recreation Department, resulting in a $150,000 savings in personnel and program costs.
According to current calculations, district officials are expecting a 4-cent drop per $1,000 of equalized value in the tax rate. It was $5.87 per $1,000 of equalized value in 2010-11 and is expected to dip to $5.83 per $1,000 of equalized value in 2011-12.
- Dave Fidlin
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Glendale-River Hills' 2011-12 property tax levy will be adopted by residents at the district's annual budget hearing.
WHEN: 7 p.m. Aug. 24
WHERE: Glen Hills Middle School library, 2600 W. Mill Road
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