Annual meeting to review 2016-17 spending plan that calls for 4% tax rate decrease
A school budget calling for a 4% decrease in the tax rate to support 2016-17 spending will be presented to Grafton School District residents on Monday, Sept. 26.
The budget will be discussed during the annual meeting at 7 p.m. in the Grafton High School library, 1950 Washington St.
The School Board last month approved a preliminary budget that includes a total tax levy of $16.93 million. Although the levy is a decrease of only $29,000 from 2015-16, several other factors will allow the district to trim the tax rate.
Based on the projected levy, the tax rate would decrease from $11.18 to $10.73 per $1,000 of equalized valuation.
That means the owner of a $250,000 house would pay $2,683 in school taxes, a decrease of $112.
The owner of a $300,000 house would pay $3,219 in school taxes, a $134 decrease.
A major factor is a projected increase of 5.15% in the district’s equalized valuation, which is expected to grow by $60.6 million.
Valuation figures have not been finalized, but Director of Business Services Topher Adams said the 5.1% increase is based on reports from area municipalities. Included are valuation increases of 5.4% in the Village of Grafton and 4.8% in the Town of Grafton.
Initial budget projections were based on a 2% increase in property valuation.
The proposed budget includes a projected increase of $89,000 in state aid. Based on a three-year rolling average, district enrollment grew from 2,025 to 2,042 students.
Initial projections included a $698,520 decrease in the debt service levy. However, last month, the board agreed to levy an additional $600,000 to prefund debt.
That decision concurred with a recommendation from Baird, the district’s financial consultant, as a way to continue stabilizing the overall levy.
Equalized valuation figures will be certified Oct. 1, followed by state aid figures Oct. 15.
During the annual meeting, district residents will provide an advisory vote on the levy and approve board members’ salaries.
The board is scheduled to approve the final levy Oct. 24.
Prior to the annual meeting, the board will hold its regular meeting at 6 p.m. in the library.