Albany referendum asks voter permission to exceed levy limit
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ALBANY If Albany School District voters approve a three-year referendum to exceed revenue caps next week, they wouldn't see much of a change to their tax bill, school officials say.
The district is seeking approval for $1.64 million over three years to pay for operating expenses because of decreasing state revenues, Superintendent Steve Guenther said.
The referendum in effect would continue permission to exceed the revenue cap approved by voters in an April 2009 referendum. Back then, residents voted 472-334 to exceed the state revenue cap for a total of $1.75 million over four years, ending at the end of this school year.
Guenther stressed the district is not trying to do anything extra but just meet operating expenses. A district flier states it is essential to meet those needs to:
-- Preserve the quality of the school.
-- Maintain appropriate class sizes.
-- Maintain ongoing district stability.
-- Attract and keep high quality staff.
-- Preserve assets to the community.
The referendum seeks $520,000 in each of the next two school years, then $600,000 in the 2015-16 school year.
The referendum would have little impact on the tax rate, which is project at $12.04 this school year. If the referendum is approved, the rate would be about $12.05 next year, $11.96 the following year and $12.02 in 2015-16.
If the referendum fails, the district likely would revamp the proposal and go to referendum again in April, Guenther said. If neither passed, they would be facing a $520,000 deficit for next year, "meaning very significant cuts," he said.
He hopes people attend public information sessions, ask questions and realize the referendum won't increase their taxes, he said.
When voters in 2009 granted the district permission to exceed the revenue cap for operational expenses, they also approved a second referendum question 552-258 to spend up to $2 million over 10 years to update district facilities.
The district completed major renovations to school entrances, put in a new heating system and steel roof, among other improvements.
ALBANY SCHOOL REFERENDUM
Voters will answer the following question:
Shall the school board of the Albany School District be authorized to exceed the revenue limit under section 121.91(2m) of the Wisconsin Statutes by an amount not to exceed $520,000 in the 2013-14 school year, $520,000 in the 2014-15 school year, and $600,000 in the 2015-16 school year for nonrecurring purposes involving payment of district operation and maintenance costs?
The district has scheduled a referendum information session at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Albany School Cafeteria, 400 5th St., Albany. Coffee and rolls will be served.