Estimates flagged in the report show property taxes would be nearly 38% higher next year under the proposed operating budget compared with 2012, a jump the brief notes is “more than twice the rate of inflation” and doesn’t include potential changes in state aid levels going forward.
Crafting Madison Metropolitan School District’s budget is a challenge for education officers, as they await a potential state budget repair bill to fix an anticipated revenue shortfall that could include cuts for K-12. In the meantime, officials are already bracing for a decline in state aid before extra action may come from lawmakers and Gov. Tony Evers.
Research director Jason Stein said a loss of state K-12 funding next fiscal year, assuming the district would have the ability to backfill it with higher property taxes, would heighten the reliance on local revenue further to support schools.
“It certainly has the potential to make it worse, right, or further accentuate the trend,” he said.
And if district leaders opt to pursue two referenda questions this fall, taxpayers could find themselves footing even more of the bill to help educate kids in a district that only sees a quarter of its operating budget covered by state and federal support, per the report.
The current and looming budgetary challenges are just part of the reality outlined in Thursday’s report, which notes the district has come to “an inflection point” given the novel coronavirus crisis and the lack of a permanent superintendent after initial hire Matthew Gutierrez withdrew his acceptance of the position.