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2019-2020 Eau Claire Area School District Budget passes, property taxes to decrease

(WEAU)
Published: Oct. 28, 2019 at 9:43 PM CDT
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The Eau Claire Area School District approved the budget for the 2019-2020 school year at a special meeting on Monday.

It will be the first balanced budget for the school board since 2010-2011 with $163,791,347 in expenses and $163,918,455 in revenue.

There will also be a decrease in property taxes for the district.

“This is really good news for the Eau Claire Area School District,” says Superintendent Dr. Mary Ann Hardebeck. “We are very excited that we have been able to make our priorities and meet our needs with a balanced budget.”

The tax levy for 2020 will be $8.28 per $1,000 in assessed property value compared to $8.52 in 2019. The school board says a tax payer living in a $150,000 home is expected to pay $1,242 in district property taxes.

“Our property levy is about $1.3 million in total but because our equalized value, which is the value of all of the property in the school district, has grown by about 5% that means our mill rate is going down,” says Abby Johnson, Executive Director of Business Services for the district.

Johnson says the balanced budget is accomplished through creative spending like leasing laptops and iPads instead of purchasing them. Changes to state aid and a referendum from a few years back are also helpful.

“Our revenue limit increased due to changes in the legislature so there was $175 more per pupil and that generated about two million dollars for the school district,” says Johnson.

The budget also includes a 2.2% wage increase for staff members in the district.

“The board really prioritized our staff and having a highly qualified staff,” says Hardebeck.

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