THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2023, 5:45 P.M.



A. Call to Order

B. Roll Call and Quorum

C. Pledge of Allegiance and Reading of Mission Statement

D. Agenda Order and Approval/Revision


A. Review Results from the 2023 SDMA Referendum Survey

B. Discuss a Possible Ballot Question & Referendum Resolution

The preliminary aid estimates from the state have dropped the mill rate -- The referendum would increase property tax $82 per 100,000 of evaluation, and an additional $2 the next year -- so the affordability of the referendum is considerably more affordable than was believed when the questionnaire went out. 

The board came to an agreement to more strongly consider a simple 4.2 million dollar continuing referendum rather than to stack it as 2.1 million next year and then 4.2 afterward. This is the question that will be drafted by logal staff and presented at the next board meeting on Monday, Nov. 27. 

The Board will discuss a possible resolution for the February 20 referendum election. 



Relevant Information from the School Administrators Alliance:



Referenda Report

A new report from Forward Analytics, K-12 On The Ballot: Using Referenda to Fund Public Schools, affirms that Wisconsin’s K-12 schools are increasingly forced to rely on dollars approved at referenda to fund local public education needs.  Forward Analytics is led by Dale Knapp, former Research Director with the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.  Forward Analytics was created in 2018 and is a division of the Wisconsin Counties Association.

Report Highlights:

  • During 1997- 2010, 44% of all operating referenda were approved. After 2010, the rate increased to 76%.
  • The amount of referendum-approved dollars funding K-12 schools has grown rapidly. This funding increased from $32 million in 2000 to $180 million in 2010 and to $650 million in 2023.
  • Of the 434 unique school districts during the revenue limit era, 356 (82%) have used the referendum option at least once. Most used the option three times or less: 65 have used it once, 67 twice, and 68 three times. By contrast, nearly 20% of districts used the referendum option six times or more, with 15 using it at least 10 times.


Attached is a sample ballot developed by legal counsel at Quarles and Brady (attached is a ballot revised on 11/16).  Please note that two options have been prepared for the Board to discuss, but the Board can set the possible referendum amounts at whatever the Board desires.


Both options result in a $4.2 million recurring referendum, but the second option is a "stacked" approach that staggers the revenue limit increase over two years- $2.1 million each year for a total of $4.2 million.


The "stacked" option would probably require the school district to reduce the undesignated fund balance by $2.1 million, but it would stretch the levy increase over two years and might help alleviate some of the current affordability concerns. While the undesignated fund balance is very important for maintaining cash flow and avoiding the need to pay interest for short-term borrowing, Leah Theder anticipates that the resulting fund balance would still be sufficient.


Based on the Board's discussion, legal counsel will draft up the final ballot and formal resolutions that the Board could consider on November 27.


ADDED November 16: (updated state aid estimates were received from Baird on 11/16- revised results are highlighted below)

Updated mill rate projections* that include estimated legislature-approved revenue limit increases and the $4.2 million referendum have the current mill rate of $5.69 increasing to $6.51 in 2024-2025 and $6.53 in 2025-2026. The estimated school tax increases would be $82 in 2024-2025 and $2 in 2025-2026 for every $100,000 of valuation. Included in this projection, the impact of the $4.2 million referendum is estimated at $105 per $100,000 of valuation beginning in 2024-2025. 


Updated mill rate projections* that include estimated legislature-approved revenue limit increases and the "stacked" referendum option have the current mill rate of $5.69 increasing to $5.82 in 2024-2025, and a projected mill rate of $6.53 in 2025-2026. The estimated school tax increases would be $13 in 2024-2025 and $71 in 2025-2026 for every $100,000 of valuation. Included in this projection, the impact of the "stacked" referendum is estimated at $36 in 2024-2025 and $103 in 2025-2026 per $100,000 of valuation



*Actual mill rates will depend on changes in overall property valuation and the amount of aid received by the state. Referendum impact projections assume no levy for long-term debt defeasance.

C. Items Related to Next Meeting Dates, Board Committees, and Reports


A. Action to Adjourn

The agenda as noted above was posted more than twenty-four hours prior to the meeting date. The most up-to-date agenda information is available on the district website. This agenda is posted at the Menomonie Area School District Administrative Services Center, and on the district website at under the School Board link.

Support local news with a membership!

Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Eye On Dunn County, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley



News Section

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.