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Madison School Board Finalizes Three Referenda


Two weeks ago the Madison School Board approved going to referendum for the third and final issue: the operating budget.

Monday night members tackled the wording of all three referenda, deciding to put a one year recurring operating budget referendum on the ballot.

During the meeting, members of the community turned out once again to pose questions and concerns to board members about the possibility of a two or three year referendum, which would have addressed the district's long-term fiscal problems.

While some community members were in support of education no matter what the cost, others said they would not vote for what would be a permanent tax hike [with a three year, recurring referendum].

In the end the board decided by a vote of 6-1 to go with the one year referendum with the hopes that all three will pass because it will put less pressure on the taxpayer.

If the operating budget referendum passes, it will allow the district to exceed state revenue limits by $7.4 million next year. That means the owner of a roughly $200,000 home would pay around $80 more in taxes next year.

And because revenue limit changes are permanent, taxes will stay at that level in the years following.

The other two referendums will ask for an additional $14.5 million to build a second school on the Leopold Elementary property, which would cost taxpayers on average another $25 a year.

An then another $26.2 million for maintenance over a five-year period, which would not raise taxes.

The three Madison school referenda will appear on the ballot in a special election on May 24.


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