Greenwood going to referendum again in April

The Greenwood Board of Education decided Monday night to ask property owners for $4.65 million in additional tax revenue over the next five years to help fund continued operation of the school district. Without the additional revenue beyond what the state otherwise allows, says the district’s administrator, the district’s educational programs “would not even be recognizable.”
On a 5-0 vote on Monday, the Board moved forward in placing a revenue cap exemption referendum on April 7 ballots. If passed, the new referendum would add a small amount onto the last year of the 5-year referendum passed by voters in 2016, and then replace it with a new exemption that would cover the district from 2021-2025.
The Board looked at three scenarios before deciding for how much it will ask voters this spring. The plan approved calls for:
— adding $150,000 to the $750,000 exemption already approved for 2020-21.
— $1,050,000 for the 2021-22 year
— $1,100,000 for the 2022-23 year
— $1,150,000 for the 2023-24 year
— $1,200,000 for the 2024-25 year
A financial forecast prepared for the district by Baird Co. projects that the district’s costs will continue to rise in the coming years while its allowable revenues remain flat. The district — like all other public schools in Wisconsin — is bound by a state revenue cap law that limits how much money it can generate in a given year. Each district receives state aid dollars based on enrollment, its relative property value and other factors, and the district can then tax for the remainder up to its revenue limit. If that total is not enough to cover all expenses, the district can call a referendum to ask voters for additional dollars.
District Administrator Todd Felhofer said Greenwood’s state aid revenue has hardly changed over the past decade. It’s total annual allocation of approximately $2.4 million this year is about what it was in 2010, he said, but costs for labor, health insurance, etc. have continually risen.

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