Commentary on a proposed 2020 Madison K-12 Tax & Spending Increase Referendum

Logan Wroge:

If voters were to approve a $150 million referendum, the owner of a $300,000 house — near the median-value home in the district of $294,833 — could have their property taxes increase by $93 annually, according to district estimates.

A larger referendum of $280 million is estimated to raise property taxes on a $300,000 house by $159 annually.

If a $280 million referendum were approved, the Madison School District’s debt, excluding interest payments, would be $357 million, according to the district.

The district projects its debt as a percentage of the total tax base value under a successful $280 million at 1.3% — estimated to be the third lowest out of 15 Dane County school districts.

Currently, the Madison School District has $77 million in debt, which ranks last out of the 15 districts for debt as a percentage of total tax base value, according to the district.

Madison has long spent far more than most taxpayer supported K-12 school districts.

Yet, we have long tolerated disastrous reading results.

Interestingly, Madison recently expanded its least diverse schools, despite space at nearby facilities

2010: Madison School Board member calls for audit of 2005 maintenance referendum spending.

Madison’s property tax base has grown significantly during the past few years, curiously following the unprecedented $40B+ federal taxpayer electronic medical record subsidy….