State Legislative Panel Supports Increased School Spending Limits & Property Tax Authority

Andy Hall:

Madison school officials were heartened Monday by a bipartisan state study panel’s backing of a measure that would allow the School Board to raise more than an additional $2 million a year.
That would cost the owner of an average city home about $25 a year.
If approved by the Legislature, the proposal would essentially allow school boards to boost their revenue limits by up to 1 percent, which in Madison would be $2.2 million next year. Boards would need to OK such moves by a two-thirds vote, and the spending would be in effect for just one year at a time.
Madison and some other districts with relatively high levels of spending and property values have strong financial disincentives against exceeding the revenue caps. Madison taxpayers, for example, pay $1.61 for every $1 the district exceeds the revenue cap due to the school funding formula, which works to equalize the tax burden between richer and poorer districts.
But the measure that advanced Monday wouldn’t subject Madison and similar districts to that financial penalty.
An additional tax of $2.2 million would mean the owner of an average Madison home valued at $239,400 would pay about $25 more per year, said Doug Johnson, a Madison School District budget analyst. The district’s property tax levy is $209.2 million.

The Madison School Board’s Communications Committee recently released a list of spending increase authority changes they would like to see the State enact. More on the School District’s $331M+ Budget.
David Callendar has more.