Debt Refinancing, 'Banked Cap' Help BOE Avoid Cuts
District also budgets 'best guess' for some state aid for special education expenses.
The Madison Board of Education's tentative 2013-2014 budget would increase the amount raised through local property taxes by 2 percent, including savings the school district realized by refinancing its debt, according to a district budget presentation Tuesday night.
The proposed tax levy for operating expenses—$33,979,228—is up around 2.4 percent from the previous year, an increase of $801,363.
The increase goes beyond the 2 percent cap for the operating budget by using $137,000 in some of the "banked cap" that the district accumulated through waivers approved by the state for circumstances such as increased enrollment.
Meanwhile, the tax levy for debt service—$2,425,545—is down $87,544 over the previous year, a decrease of around 3.5 percent, partly because the district refinanced its debt.
The district also is budgeting a "best guess" of $103,000 in extraordinary aid from the state for special education students whose education costs exceed $55,000 a year.
District business administrator Gary Lane said he is not comfortable doing that because the amount varies each year depending on the number of students and their needs, and generally is not used to "prop up" the revenue side of the budget, but it was done this year because the budget was tight.
The budget includes funding for several capital and maintenance reserve projects:
- $507,000 for a roofing project at Torey J. Sabatini School
- $44,000 for new security upgrades
- $175,000 for the Kings Road School retaining wall
- $221,000 for windows at Madison High School
The district estimates a homeowner with property assessed at $659,938 would pay $139.15 more in school taxes, according to a presentation given by Lane at a budget forum Tuesday night.
A public hearing and final vote on the budget is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27.
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