Whitefish Bay officials discuss tentative budget

Published on: 5/23/2013

The tentative 2013-14 Whitefish Bay School District budget, presented to the Finance Committee on Wednesday, shows a 4.14 percent increase to the tax levy; however, this number is expected to change in coming months.

Because of the ongoing state legislative process, the school district budget is a fluid document and can change over the next few months as the state decides how much it will issue in aid. The levy and state aid projected in the preliminary budget will most likely change; however, the district is mandated to have a preliminary budget for publication. Whitefish Bay is hoping to have projections from the Department of Public Instruction sometime in June, which would allow a more accurate levy figure.

"State aid and tax levy are impossible to project because the state hasn't determined the biennial budget — so no one knows how much money is being allocated to schools," Director of Business Services Shawn Yde said after the meeting.

The district has to send a budget document to Whitefish Bay residents in the beginning of July. Numbers should be updated some; however, they can still change by the annual meeting in September when Whitefish Bay electors approve the budget and levy.

For the time being, a "placeholder" was used to project the amount of state aid that will come to the district, Yde said. The preliminary budget shows about the same amount of state aid as last year, with a moderate $100,000 increase.

"That is relatively flat aid. I have gotten absolutely zero from the state this year, so it's really hard to say what the tax impact will be without the state equalization aid information," Yde said.

The budget also projects an increase of $50 to the per pupil allocation. Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget had a $0 increase, and some legislators are asking for a $150 increase.

"Understand, most of these assumptions will change before October," Yde said.