By Jason Arndt
Editor

Although Bristol School District electors approved a higher tax levy to support rising expenses, taxpayers project to see tax rate decrease for the 2017-18, citing an increase in district property values.

The tax levy, approved at the Sept. 18 annual meeting, is projected to jump from $3,636,846 in 2016-17 to $3,811,629 for the 2017-18 school year.

Compared to 2016-17, the tax levy increased by $174,783, with $173,452 going towards the General Fund and the rest applied to the Referendum Debt Service Fund.

While the overall tax levy expects to increase by $174,783, the mill rate looks to drop from $5.87 to $5.75 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Bristol District Administrator Michael Juech attributes the tax levy increase to the loss of state aid, but indicated property values project to increase, which brought down the mill rate.

In 2017-18, preliminary estimates show a property value increase of $39,571,791 to $662,918,471.

State aid, however, could see loss of $94,633 from 2016-17, when it was $3,040,797.

Meanwhile, to support a growing student population along with a new Early Childhood Education program, the district anticipates an increase of $899,680 in expenditures.

“(An) increase in our enrollment, now 844 students, is a contributing factor to our increased costs,” said Juech, who reported 60 more students attend Bristol School.

To support a growing student population, the district added a fourth-grade teacher, a special education teacher, Early Childhood Education teacher, Spanish teacher and a school counselor.

Additionally, the launch of an Early Childhood Education curriculum added nearly $54,000 in expenses.

“The Early Childhood program is new to us this year at a local level. We were able to develop a peer model program and we have seven students enrolled in the program,” Juech said.

Juech also noted the district transitioned to a local special education program, instead of staying with a Westosha special education consortium.

 
 

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