And now, some good news for Oak Creek taxpayers: the Oak Creek-Franklin School District property tax levy would not rise under the preliminary budget proposal.
School officials on Monday night laid out an early version of the budget, which will be formally presented to the public during the annual meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 22 at East Middle School.
The levy would be exactly what it was this year - $32.1 million - despite the district having to make up for a $2.7 million budget deficit.
"When you look at the big picture for the district, we've been able to maintain a fairly steady levy, even though the state has withdrawn its support," Director of Business Services Cathy Cramer said.
The $2.7 million hole was created by a 5.5 percent reduction in the revenue limit, which was stipulated under Gov. Scott Walker's budget.
However, Walker's budget bills also helped make up for the loss - the district saved almost $2 million thanks to employees contributing 5.8 percent of their salary toward the Wisconsin Retirement System. The retirement contributions became law in Walker's controversial budget-repair bill.
Oak Creek-Franklin also cut about $478,000 out of its budget through retirements () and generated about $200,000 in new revenue from opening 30 additional seats through the state's Open Enrollment program.
Under the district's proposal, the tax rate would be $8.87 per $1,000 of assessed property value, a decrease of six cents from last year. That means a person owning a $200,000 home would pay $1,774 in taxes to the school district.
School districts across Wisconsin still must wait for more several budget factors, such as enrollment and state aid, to become finalized. The final version of the budget will be passed at the end of October.
Superintendent Sara Burmeister cautioned to wait until the numbers are final, but said, "we're in a very good position in our school district financially at this point in time."