2What is an operating referendum? An operating referendum provides additional revenue for:Instructional Supplies (textbooks, workbooks, paper, etc.)Salaries and Services directly related to the educational process (teachers, secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, administrators, etc)Utilities (gas, heat, electricity)Basic Building MaintenanceTransportation (fuel, bus maintenance and repair)
3How is an operating referendum different than a building bond? A building bond provides one time revenue that can only be used for major building renovation or new construction.
4How is taxation for an operating referendum different than a building bond? Unlike building bonds:Agricultural properties will pay taxes based solely on the value of their house, garage, and one acre of surrounding ag land.Seasonal recreational residential properties (cabins) do not pay taxes on operating referendum.Taxable property is dictated by Minnesota tax codes.
5Why do we need an operating referendum? The current operating referendum will expire in 2009.
6Why do we need an operating referendum? The State of Minnesota’s basic education aid has been frozen.Basic State PercentageSchool Year Funding Per-Pupil Increase$4601$ %$ %$ %$ %$ %* $ %$ %$ %Yearly Average Increase %*Includes one-time $50 per-pupil funding
7Why do we need an operating referendum? The districts enrollment has been declining, which results in a decrease in state funding.First Day of School K-12 Enrollment****Projected based on pre-school population and historical trends
8Why do we need an operating referendum? Projected expenditures and revenue leave a shortfall.Revenue $6,930,574Expenditures ($8,332,833)Shortfall ($1,402,259)
9What is the board asking voters to consider? The school board is asking voters to consider an operating referendum of $1200 per pupil unit for six years, beginning in the school year.If approved, the referendum would provide an estimated $1,393,853 in funding per year to help meet the $1,402,259 projected shortfall.
10How do we utilize our financial resources? Expenses
11Have we been prudent with our resources? The district has focused on fiscally prudent budgeting and planning to make the 2002 operating levy last the full seven years of voter approved levy authority.The Minnesota Department of Education has recognized the District for five consecutive years with the School Finance Award. It is given to districts that demonstrate fiscal health and compliance with state statutes.
12What reductions have been made since 2002? Even with the passage of the 2002 operating referendum, the district still needed to make the following reductions in order to maintain a balanced budget.8.2 Teachers4.0 Paraprofessionals1.0 District Office1.0 Curriculum Coordinator0.5 Administrator0.5 Custodian0.4 CounselorClosed and repurposed the Elysian building
13What will the operating referendum be used for? The operating referendum will be used to maintain current programming.
14How do our school taxes compare to neighboring districts? Comparison of school taxes on a home withtaxable market value of $115,00014
15How do our school taxes compare to neighboring districts? Comparison of school taxes on a home withtaxable market value of $220,00015
16What will the operating referendum cost property owners? Types of Properties: Residential, Farmstead, Apartments, and Commercial-Industrial PropertyTaxable EstimatedMarket Value Expiring Levy Proposed Levy Net Increase$50, $46 $ $72$75, $69 $ $109$100, $92 $ $145$125, $115 $ $181$150, $138 $ $217$160, $147 $ $232$175, $161 $ $253$200, $184 $ $290$250, $230 $ $362$300, $276 $ $434$350, $322 $ $507$400, $368 $ $57916
17What would our taxes have been this year with the proposed levy in place? Comparison of school taxes on a home withtaxable market value of $115,00017
18What would our taxes have been this year with the proposed levy in place? Comparison of school taxes on a home withtaxable market value of $220,00018
19What would happen if the district dissolved? If we close our schools, the borders of neighboring districts would be redrawn to include property in our district.Tax payers would pay school taxes to their new district.
20What will happen if the operating referendum does not pass? If the operating referendum does not pass, the district faces a projected $1.4 million shortfall. During the school year, the school board would met this shortfall by:Spending the entire projected general fund balance of $637,000Making budget reductions of $765,000During the 2010 calendar year, the school board would again ask voters to consider an operating referendum.If that referendum also fails, the school board would need to make further reductions of at least $637,000 beginning in the school year.20
21What will happen if the operating referendum does not pass? 21
22What will happen if the operating referendum does not pass? 22
23Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. When & Where Do I Vote?Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.on Tuesday November 3, 2009.Elysian Building, GymnasiumElysian Township & City of Elysian, Precincts 1 & 2Jamestown Township, Blue Earth CountyJanesville Township, Waseca CountyMorristown Building, GymnasiumBlooming Grove Township, Waseca CountyMorristown Township & City of MorristownShieldsville Township, Rice CountyCity of WarsawWaterville Building, Elementary GymnasiumCordova Township, Le Sueur CountyIosco Township, Waseca CountyKilkenny Township & City of Kilkenny Ward 1Waterville Township & City of Waterville23
24Want to know more? County Auditors WEM School Board Members Blue Earth Andrea JewisonLe Sueur Tom LittleRice Gary MichaelWaseca Pat NusbaumRoy SchmidtkeEHLERS and Associates Toya SchmidtkeEducational Team Jay SchneiderCheck out our website at: AdministrationJoel Whitehurst, SuperintendentRandy Mediger, Principal (K-4)Bernardine Sauter, Principal (5-8)John Kaplan, Principal (9-12)Click on the WEM Property Tax Information Website link and use the interactive calculator to see the tax impact of the operating referendum on your property.24
25Operating Levy Referendum November 3, 2009Be Informedand VOTE25