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Brillion School District seeking operational referendum

Jan. 19, 2023

Brillion Superintendent Corey Baumgartner speaks during the school board meeting on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023 in Brillion, Wis. (David Nordby/BN)

A complete version of this story can be found in the Jan. 19, 2023 print edition of The Brillion News.


By David Nordby

The Brillion News


BRILLION - The Brillion School District will seek a multiyear operational referendum in the April 4 Spring Election.


The referendum will ask school district voters if they allow the district to exceed its revenue limits $815,000 for the 2023-24 school year, $1.535 million for the 2024- 25 school year and $2.03 million for the 2025-26 school year.


The funds will support the costs of maintaining current programs and services including staffing, technology, educational programming, utilities, transportation and insurance.


The district first conducted a survey, reviewed the results during a lengthy special meeting on Jan. 9, then Monday approved the referendum question for the spring ballots.


The numbers within the referendum are the amounts the school would need to tax up to in the event that there is no increase in state aid or the revenue limits are frozen by the state legislature again.


“There was no new revenue coming in except for the ESSER dollars (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund), which were the federal dollars onetime money but doesn’t continue on with any recurring cost like the 3% staff raise that we gave, so … you hear the term in the media a lot, fiscal cliff. That’s how it gets created if you do spend it on things that are recurring instead of just one-time costs without knowing what the next state planning budget is going to hold,” Brillion Superintendent Corey Baumgartner said on Monday.


More information about the state budget will come out in mid-February and be approved by July, Baumgartner said, but the school district’s year starts in July.


“I know we don’t usually finalize the budget until October, but this is us to guarantee we have enough funding to maintain the types of services that we offer right now,” Baumgartner said.


In the state funding formula, the more aid that a district gets from the state, the smaller amount it would need to tax the community to reach the revenue limit.


Following the results of the survey, the school district worked to reduce its budget by $140,000. The updated numbers for taxpayers look like this if the referendum is approved and with the $140,000 worth of cuts:


School Year 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26

Amount requested $815,000 $1.535 mil. $2.03 mil.

(not to exceed)


Projected mill rate $7.51 $7.94 $8.30 $8.45


Tax increase per $43 $36 $15

$100,000 property

value over prior year


Total tax increase $40 $79 $94

per $100,000 of

property value over

2022-23


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