WACO's fiscal 2014 property tax levy drops 77 cents per $1,000 taxable valuation
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
WAYLAND — Patrons in the WACO School District likely will see a dip in their school property tax bills.
School directors Monday night approved a fiscal 2014 budget that calls for a property tax levy of $21.05 per $1,000 taxable valuation, a drop of 77 cents per $1,000 valuation from fiscal 2013’s $21.82 levy.
What that means is a property owner with a $60,000 residence (taxable value, not assessed value) will pay $46.20 less in school taxes. A farm with a taxable value of $300,000 will be have a tax reduction of $231.00.
WACO’s 2014 budget calls for $9,373,727 in expenditures.
Total revenue forecasted is $7,603,068 with the remaining $1,770,659 coming from the beginning fund balance.
The district is also levying for cash reserves of $630,000. The maximum a district can levy is $855,206.
Property tax will fund $2.86 million of the budget while state aid accounts for another $3.03 million, the largest revenue sources in the budget. Federal and state grants are listed at $350,000.
One of the factors hampering the district is open enrollment numbers. As of March 2013, there are 62.4 students (student weighting leads to fractions) open enrolled from the district and 43.9 students open enrolled into the district. State funding is $6,125 per student, meaning WACO is losing $113,312.50 in state aid.
During the 2011-12 school year, the district had a 16.75 student loss in open enrolled students into the district versus students lost through open enrollment. The two-year loss in the open enrollment game means a drop of $215,906.25 in state funding.
WACO’s fiscal 2014 budget is based on a certified enrollment of 498 students.
In other business during the March 18 meeting, board members approved the lease of six 2014 Freightliner (chassis) 65-passenger school buses from Thomas Bus Sales Inc. of Des Moines.
The three-year lease will cost the district $67,723.30 per year. At the end of the three years, the district will be able to trade the buses back to Thomas for new buses.
School Bus Sales of Cedar Rapids also bid on the lease. School Bus’s cost per year was $70,886.96 under the same terms as Thomas.
Directors approved a resolution to apply for a Riverboat Grant for security equipment at the Crawfordsville Elementary School. Elementary Principal Brandt Snakenberg said new security equipment would cost approximately $60,000.
“We have a private donor willing to donate up to $100,000 for school safety equipment,” Snakenberg said.
The equipment would include a card reader entry system and other security items.
Board members approved the school calendar, which includes a start date of Aug. 27, 2013, and the school year will end May 22, 2014. The calendar also includes a Christmas break from Dec. 21, 2013, to Jan. 6, 2014.
Personnel matters saw the board approving the contract for Shannon Rugg, high school softball coach.
Resignations were accepted from Mark Janecek, junior high softball coach; and Michelle Wade, teaching associate and girls’ and boys’ basketball scorekeeper.
WACO board members meet again in regular session Monday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the high school media center at Wayland.