Wauwatosa School District proposes a 2.31 percent levy increase

Published on: 6/11/2013

The Wauwatosa School District Monday presented a proposed budget that includes a 2.31 percent increase in its total tax levy, an increase from about $45.31 million for the 2012-13 school year to $46.35 million for the 2013-14 year.

The budget includes just over $1 million in taxes to be repaid to Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare's Wauwatosa facility, 201 N. Mayfair Road. The taxes were collected by the city for the school district over a period of years. A court ruling later determined that the collections were not owed, as the facility was largely tax-exempt.

Property tax collections represent 55 percent of all school district revenue, with the state providing 28 percent, and the federal government adding almost 4 percent. Other local sources add almost 13 percent.

For a home valued at $250,000, the district's share of property tax would amount to $2,461 in 2014, an increase of $56 over the current year. The tax rate would be $9.842 per thousand dollars of equalized valuation, a 22-cent increase over the previous year. The new rate would be more than $3 per thousand more than a low reached in 2006-07.

Salaries and benefits for the district's 828 employees, including 550 teachers, easily account for the largest spending category in the budget. Total compensation for next year would be $64.13 million, or 78 percent of total spending for the year. That represents an increase over the current year's total compensation of $62.83 million, or 2.08 percent. For 2013-14, benefits represent 44 percent of total compensation.

Employment in district has remained remarkably stable in recent years, fluctuating only slightly in every category since 2011. The categories are: teachers, administrative assistants, administrators, custodians, educational assistants and others.

Of the teachers in the district, 70 percent have masters degrees or, in one case, a doctorate degree.

The School Board will vote to approve the final budget at its June 24 meeting.