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Platteville school final budget, tax levy, mil rate set
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The Platteville School Board officially set its 2012–13 budget and tax levy Oct. 22.

School district electors set the tax levy at the school district’s annual meeting, but the official budget and tax levy are set after third-Friday official student counts, equalization aid and school district property values are determined Oct. 15.

The mil rate will be $11.27 per $1,000 assessed valuation, down slightly from the $11.29 per $1,000 assessed value one year ago, but up from the $11.13 per $1,000 estimated in late August. The owner of a house assessed at $125,000 will pay $1,408.75 in school district property taxes, down $2.50 from last year’s $1,411.25.

The mil rate is determined by the tax levy of $8,349,130, up 1.06 percent from last year, and the school district’s equalized value, up 1.49 percent from last year. The tax levy will fund a budget of $15,353,209, up $70,622, or 1.63 percent, from last year.

The School Board approved the budget and tax levy 7–0. The tax levy is the level of “full taxing authority,” said school district business manager Art Beaulieu.

An increase in school district enrollment and a decrease of $134,163 in state aid resulted in the budget and mil rate increase from the annual meeting.

While the school district is getting more state aid with the enrollment increase, the aid increase is for only one-third of the students, said district superintendent Connie Valenza.

The budget increase is for additional costs with the enrollment increase, additional costs for the O.E. Gray building caused by the closing of St. Mary’s School, and professional staff development, Valenza said.

“Also in August we didn’t have the settlement with the unions,” which resulted in a $154,000 payroll increase, she said.

“Never before in my life have we had such harmony between the board and the teachers’ union,” said board member Tim Murphy. “And that was one of the points in committee — what can we do as a board collectively” to demonstrate a commitment to school district staff.

“It really is overwhelming in what we need to accomplish” to meet new statewide school standards, said Valenza. “Budget decisions are made to try to put as much money as possible in front of the kids.”