Shorewood district passes decreased budget, levy
Increases in enrollment, property values help district's financials
Shorewood — Smiles and laughter punctuated the district's annual meeting Tuesday as the School Board and a handful of voters approved a 2013-14 budget and levy.
The reasons were simple.
"Fund balance is up. We're projecting a balanced budget. Enrollment's up. Taxes are down," Superintendent Martin Lexmond said.
Following a financially sound 2012-13 school year which came in approximately $300,000 under budget, a draft 2013-14 budget projects a roughly 6 percent decrease in overall spending compared to last year and a 0.34 percent decrease in the district's tax levy.
An increase in district property values amplifies the effect of the tax levy decrease, resulting in a roughly 2.4 percent decrease in the tax rate to $13.54 per $1,000 of assessed property value. For a district resident with a $300,000 home, that means a school tax bill of $4,062, which is $96 less than last year.
"After (property values went) down for a long time, it's starting to come back up," said Interim Business Manager Mike Garity, adding that the increase in enrollment, which increases the district's state-mandated spending limit, "is a tremendous benefit to the district."
Contributing to the decreased budget are a number of factors, Lexmond said, including staff turnover which has saved about $250,000, restructured maintenance and custodial departments, custodians now paying the same amount of health insurance premium share as other employees, and higher health insurance deductibles for all district employees.
Officials said the 2011 village property value assessment error, which dramatically overvalued one of the village's tax incremental financing districts and caused swings in state aid for the district, is no longer affecting district financials.
BY THE NUMBERS
district tax levy for 2013-14 school year
projected 2013-14 district budget
estimated tax rate, per $1,000 of assessed property value
estimated tax bill on a home valued at $300,000
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