Referendum 2019

WHY DID MY TAXES INCREASE? >>
The referendum work is progressing as expected, although slightly behind schedule through the initial phases.  Work began with the maintenance building, elementary office and entrance, and phase one of the classrooms at the 6-12 building.  In fact, students have moved into some of the completed rooms at the 6-12 building. Although furniture for those rooms won’t be addressed until summer, the students are excited.  They have enjoyed helping their teachers move. Work on classrooms in phase two will begin the week of January 13.

I know many taxpayers saw a large increase in their taxes when compared to last year, and no matter how we look at it, the increase was significant when compared to last year. The increase is a result of a large drop in taxes last year due to the District’s long term debt retiring.  We anticipated having a mill rate of 10.25 this year, and came in just under that at 10.20. 

We thank you for your continued support in educating our students.

Josh   

SUPPORT COMMUNITY >> 
This fall the District issued a survey asking you, the community, what your priorities are.  The District listened to you, will continue listening to you, and is working to support your goals. The District is going for a referendum in April. Please contact the District with questions and stay tuned for information regarding the pursuit.

SUPPORT STUDENT LEARNING >>
The Frederic School District is dedicated to continually improving the student learning experience. Through funding provided by the referenda, the District will enhance the student learning environment including upgrades to learning spaces; improving school safety and security; and addressing aging building infrastructure.

SUPPORT FINANCIAL VIABILITY >>
Our fund balance is currently being used to balance the District's budget. By allowing the District to exceed the Revenue Cap, the current level of operations will be able to be maintained without reducing our fund balance. The District will be able to maintain our standard of student learning, maintain programming options, offer competitive wages for staff, and address ongoing maintenance issues with our facilities.

SUPPORT STUDENT ACADEMICS >>
You spoke, the District listened. The District understands that you feel our academic spaces deserve more monetary attention than our athletic facilities. The April 2019 Referendum will focus on academics, and will place minimal attention on athletics. 

> WHAT HAPPENS IF THE REFERENDUM PASSES?

> HOW WILL THIS IMPACT YOU?
 
* The 2017-18 mill rate is used because it more closely reflects the average mill rate Frederic had from 2000-2017, which was 10.48. The large drop in mill rate from 2017-18 to 2018-19 was due to retiring referendum debt from the 1998 referendum.
Question 1 asks the Community if the district can levy an additional tax to operate. The tax impact for this question will not show an increase over the 2017-18 mill rate (see chart below).
 
Question 2 asks the Community if the district can borrow to pay for facilities. The new loan payments will begin in the 2019-20 school year. The combined mill rate is estimated to increase by $.40 ($40 on a $100,000 property) over the District’s 2017-18 mill rate.
 
 
Alternative: Download Tax Impact Calculator Frederic SD

> Questions #1: Exceed the Revenue Limit

NEEDS REVENUE LIMITS
  • Finished with a Deficit Budget Last Year
  • Forecast an increasing deficit Budget Over the Next 5 Years
  • Expanding Needs
  • General Operations
    • Maintain what we have:
      • Staffing
      • Student Support Services
      • Curriculum and Learning Resources
      • Technology
      • Deferred Maintenance
  • Stay Competitive as a District
  • Implemented in 1993
  • Frederic has remained below the state average since 1993
  • In 2019-20
    • Frederic $9,413
    • State Avg. $10,384
    • $488,000 difference for Frederic in 2019-20
  • State imposes a 3-year freeze for failed operational referendums
    • Currently frozen at $9413 from 2018-19 through 2021-22
    • Penalty starts over with a failed question.
    • State ceiling increases yearly  
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The referendum will be held on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. You will be able to vote at your local municipality or by absentee ballot. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday April 2nd.

 

> QUESTION 1: OPERATIONS

BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of the Frederic School District, Polk and Burnett Counties, Wisconsin, that, in order to provide resources to support student learning, the final school district budget shall include an amount not to exceed $500,000 in excess of the revenue limits imposed by Section 121.91 of the Wisconsin Statutes on a non-recurring basis for a period of five years beginning with the 2019-20 school year and ending with the 2023-24 school year for the purpose of paying District operations, staffing and maintenance costs.

> QUESTION 2: FACILITIES

BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of the Frederic School District, Polk and Burnett Counties, Wisconsin, that there shall be issued, pursuant to Chapter 67, Wisconsin Statutes, General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $7,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs of addressing needs to improve and upgrade the District's buildings and grounds to enhance student learning environment including upgrades to science and technology classrooms and labs and other classrooms and learning spaces; improving school safety and security; addressing aging building infrastructure by replacing roofs, a maintenance building and mechanical systems; updating and expanding the elementary kitchen and cafeteria; and equipment acquisition related to said projects. 

An operating referendum will allow the District to address operational costs, ongoing maintenance costs, and staffing needs in an effort to better serve the students and community.

The District currently uses its fund balance to balance the budget.  Our financial forecasting indicates without an operating referendum, the District will not have enough funding to maintain our current level of operations and programming to serve the students and community.

It is important to understand that the state imposed “Revenue Cap” limits the amount of taxes a district can levy for operations.  In order to increase district revenues beyond the revenue cap, the state allows an additional tax levy if approved by voters with an operating referendum.  The Frederic School Board is asking the community to consider a non-recurring, operating referendum to allow for a $500,000 additional tax levy for each of the next 5 years.

A “non-recurring” operations levy, which is limited to a certain number of years,  may require a subsequent referendum after it expires.

A referendum is needed to address the general and preventative maintenance needs of our aging facilities to better serve the students and community.  Because all areas of our facilities are between 20-58 years old, the various needs are spread across the District.

The referendum will allow us to create safer and more secure entrances, modernize our technical education and science spaces, and enhance outdated student learning environments to reflect 21st century learning.  Additionally, the referendum will allow us to address facility infrastructure needs, such as replacing roofs, a maintenance building and mechanical systems. The elementary kitchen and cafeteria will be updated and expanded to meet the needs of students and staff.  

Over the past several years, the Frederic School District has identified and addressed several District needs, including technology infrastructure upgrades, energy efficiency facility projects, and general maintenance.  This referendum is needed to address many larger and smaller building and grounds projects, that are spread across the District, so our facilities meet the needs of our students and community.

Question # 1 would represent no increase in taxes over the 2017-18 taxes. There is a tax impact calculator for the specific market value of your home in the cost section of the referendum website.

Question # 2 is based on a conservative forecasting model created by Robert W. Baird’s public finance division.  There is projected to be $0.40 increase ($40 on a $100,000 property) over the District’s 2017-18 mill rate. There is a tax impact calculator for the specific market value of your home in the cost section of the referendum website.

No. As of January 1, 2018 new limitations set in 2017 Act 59  limits a school board to approving no more than two board resolutions authorizing referendums (operations or to issue debt) to exceed the district's state imposed revenue limit per calendar year.

No. Question #1 non-recurring funds cannot exceed $500,000 per year for five years. The funds will bring the district closer to the state average for per pupil revenue limits established in 1993.

Question #2 funds can only be spent on projects that fall within the parameters of the question, and cannot be used for anything beyond buildings and grounds. Total borrowing cannot exceed $7 million.

The 2017-18 mill rate is used because it more closely reflects the average mill rate Frederic had from 2000-2017, which was 10.48. The large drop in mill rate from 2017-18 to 2018-19 was due to retiring referendum debt from the 1998 referendum.

BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of the Frederic School District, Polk and Burnett Counties, Wisconsin, that, in order to provide resources to support student learning, the final school district budget shall include an amount not to exceed $500,000 in excess of the revenue limits imposed by Section 121.91 of the Wisconsin Statutes on a non-recurring basis for a period of five years beginning with the 2019-20 school year and ending with the 2023-24 school year for the purpose of paying District operations, staffing and maintenance costs.

BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of the Frederic School District, Polk and Burnett Counties, Wisconsin, that there shall be issued, pursuant to Chapter 67, Wisconsin Statutes, General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $7,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs of addressing needs to improve and upgrade the District's buildings and grounds to enhance student learning environment including upgrades to science and technology classrooms and labs and other classrooms and learning spaces; improving school safety and security; addressing aging building infrastructure by replacing roofs, a maintenance building and mechanical systems; updating and expanding the elementary kitchen and cafeteria; and equipment acquisition related to said projects.

This fall the District invited stakeholders to participate in a referendum survey that would help guide the School Board and administration in planning for a potential future referendum. Working closely with School Perceptions, the District created a survey that would not only provide insight to the failed 2018 referendum, but also measure support for a possible future referendum. With 327 participants, School Perceptions has indicated we have a successful participation rate, similar to what the company sees in other districts. Thank you for participating!