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Abby K-12 raises tax rate by 3%

By Ross Pattermann

Residents of the Abbotsford School District will see their mil rate go up for this year, according to the words delivered by Abbotsford superintendent Sherry Baker at the board of education’s joint budget and monthly meeting on Monday night.

Based on numbers provided by the district, this year’s mil rate will be roughly $9.85 per $1,000 of property value, up from last year’s mil rate of $9.57, which represents an increase of roughly 3 percent from last year.

For a home valued at $50,000, property taxes paid to the district will be an additional $13.88, while a home valued at $100,000 will see an increase in school taxes of $27.76 compared to last year.

Baker outlined the reasons for the increase and cautioned that even with the work done by the district, the mil rate is an imprecise number.

“I call it a mil rate illusion because when this mil rate shows up on this document the community sees that as something wholly true and exact,” Baker explained to the board. “The reality is that the mil rate changes based on the municipality that you live in, based on their needs, based on their property values and a lot of different factors. So, when there’s a mil rate on here of $9.85, that’s an estimate. It is not exact.”

The total taxes levied on property owners within the district will be $2,125,709,

See SCHOOL board/ Page 8 compared to $2,083,227 for the previous school year, an increase of about 4.1 percent.

This tax levy includes about $1.4 million for the general fund, $683,000 for debt payments and $65,000 for the district’s community service fund.

The district’s revenue limit is $8 million, with $6.6 million in state aid expected for the 2020-2021 school year.

Support staff pay

After the school board moved into its regular monthly meeting, board members received public comment from several support staff members regarding their pay under possible future sustained closures due to COVID-19.

Cathy Clement urged the board to reconsider applying unemployment, and to treat support staff as “an asset and not an expense.”

Since unemployment pays only 40 percent of a support staff’s wages, many of the district’s support staff were unable to cover expenses related to health care premiums and deductions, the board was informed.

After hearing from the staff, the board approved a motion to pay full and regular hourly wages for support staff through the first two weeks of a possible shut down.

However, after two weeks, whether consecutive or not, support staff not working in house at the request of their supervisors or principals will be paid a base wage per their assigned category in the district’s employee handbook.

Other business

_ The district will continue to follow Gov. Evers mask mandate, with most students and staff expected to wear masks until the mandate ends Nov. 21.

_ The board approved the hiring of Jessica Boston as the elementary guidance counselor and Ethan Kramas as the middle school/ eight grade boys basketball coach.