by Mitch Wainwright
Dictionary.com defines a referendum as, “the principle or practice of referring measures proposed or passed by a legislative body, head of state, etc., to the vote of the electorate for approval or rejection.” The taxpayers of Mineral Point are very familiar that a referendum can impact their property tax rates. Most often with a successful referendum, the taxes will increase. The referendum questions that passed in November, however, did not impact the school’s portion of property taxes for this current school year. Next year, the mill rate for the school’s portion of your property taxes will increase from the current level of $11.33.
With the successful November elementary addition/renovation referendum and recurring operational referendum, that tax impact, when factored over a 20-year loan, will average an increase of $2.52 per year.
If the April referendum for a new elementary is successful, combined with the recurring operational referendum from November, the tax impact, when factored over the same 20-year period, will average an increase of $3.45.
All three of these numbers represent a per thousand increase. On a $100,000 home, the increase would be $252 or $345 respectively. The difference is, on average, $93 per year for 20 years.
As the Superintendent of the Mineral Point Unified School District, I do not want to see this spring’s referendum question drive a wedge between the opposing sides of this issue. I personally believe that every community member supports the quality education provided to all our children. We have outstanding people working every day with Mineral Point’s future generations and this referendum question will not change that. The world of politics has moved to a place where somebody has to be right and somebody has to be wrong. If you do not agree with “my” position you are “my” enemy. This referendum question does not, and should not, reach this level. There are community members that support the school district 100% but do not want to see their taxes impacted and will vote no in April. There are other community members that support the school district 100% and will vote yes. I truly believe an overwhelming majority of Mineral Point taxpayers support the school district and the education that is provided to all children, regardless of what side of this issue they are on. That’s what makes this community such a great place to live and raise children. Please vote on April 2nd, and vote for the position that best represents your needs.