Dundee looks at 3.9 percent tax increase
DUNDEE--Following the release of state aid numbers, the Dundee school board is looking at a 3.9 percent tax levy increase for the 2015-16 school year. School Business Official Melissa Lawson presented the board with the updated preliminary budget information during the Thursday, April 9, board meeting. The board later voted to have the public vote on the budget May 19.
Despite having the same percent increase as approved last year, Lawson said the increase this year would exceed the allowable tax cap by 8.6 percent. She said this is due to the district receiving restoration of prior year building aid that was curtailed during the 2014-15 school year. Lawson said this negatively impacted the 2015-16 tax cap calculation, requiring the district to exceed the cap for the coming year. Because the proposed tax levy increase exceeds the cap, the budget must be approved by 60 percent of the voters.
The total proposed spending for the 2015-16 school year is $17,325,343, a 4.7 percent increase over last year. Lawson said there will be $1,691,688 in reserve funds being applied to the budget to reduce the tax levy increase. She said without these reserves being applied, the tax levy increase for next year would be 38.9 percent.
Lawson highlighted several cost increases, including costs to support its student population with disabilities by $365,000. She said a state mandated completion of a building condition survey added $47,000 to the budget, while professional development to implement the curriculum increased $22,000. Lawson said the addition of a summer driver education program also contributed $20,000 to the budget.
In addition to the summer driver education program, Lawson highlighted the district's increasing instructional resources for its high school art program, offering a Pathway in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program, enhancing early literacy, providing additional nursing services and enhancing its interscholastic cheer and soccer programs with coaching positions.