Audio: Mitch Henck Interviews Carol Carstensen and Nan Brien

Mitch Henck interviewed Carol Carstensen and Nan Brien this morning. They discussed the District’s 06/07 planned budget, health care spending, local property taxes and Monday’s approval of an 856K electrical upgrade to Sennett Middle School that was $397,000 over the estimated cost, funded by the maintenance referendum (I’ve not seen any discussion of this in the local media [Cap Times | Channel3000]. Excerpt: 5.7MB MP3 file.
The property tax discussion is interesting as there are many factors that affect what a homeowner pays for schools including:

  • redistributed state taxes (“aid” – via income, sales and other taxes/fees), # of students (the district’s taxing/spending authority follows students numbers. Losing students is expensive.),
  • assessed value changes (some communities like Madison reassess annually, while others, such as Fitchburg are on a much less frequent schedule) and
  • Fund 80 – district spending that is not constrained by state revenue caps.

I’m glad Carol, Nan and others are discussing these issues. I hope we see more of this.