By Superintendent Mitch Wainwright
If you did not watch the school board meeting that took place Oct 25, 2021, you missed the board certifying the levy. This isn’t an exciting event and is generally not filled with a great deal of controversy. It is an important meeting for the taxpayers and determines the mill rate the school will use for the property taxes collected.
When you receive your property tax bill, it will have several areas listed that your taxes help support. For those of you that live in the City of Mineral Point, you will see line items for the school district, the city, the county, and the technical college. The mill rate for the school district is dropping by $1.54 compared to last year. This is the result of funding provided by the state legislature. While the legislature touts this as school funding, none of the money actually is coming to the school. Instead, the funding is going directly to the property taxpayers. As a result of this direct funding to you, the amount the school district will levy is decreasing by 7.68%. That is the good news.
There is almost always some bad news that comes with the good. The bad news is the other areas that use property taxes for funding may increase the amounts levied. This may cause my and your property taxes to actually increase. There is also no expectation that the state will provide additional funding next year to offset property taxes. The school’s portion of the tax bill, and mill rate, will most likely increase next year.
It is an unfortunate rollercoaster ride when it comes to school funding. The amount provided to school districts can change without much input or direction. The school district tries to set a budget that is prepared for the needs of our students while being fiscally responsible to the taxpayers. The unknowns are the “things” that can really hurt a school’s budget. When we began the budget process, we tried and planned for increases in salaries, benefits, and services like transportation and food service. What we cannot always plan for is a breakdown or a dramatic increase in energy costs.
Once again this year, we provided a balanced budget and continue to provide top-quality educational opportunities. We support every learner and maintain a commitment to be the best we can be. It is #PointerNation!