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Wausau Schools holds referendum information meeting

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 10:33 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wausau School District explained to voters why they believe the upcoming referendum is important for the district in a meeting on Thursday, Feb. 25.

The Wausau School District said a “yes” vote for the referendum will not raise your taxes, but a “no” vote could eventually lower them.

Come April 6, Wausau voters will have an important decision to make that could impact their taxes.

“If it were to fail over time, it would go down, it might go down as much as $2 on the mill rate, or $200 on a $100,000 home,” Wausau School District Chief Finance and Business Services Officer Bob Tess said.

Currently, the average $100,000 home pays about $1,029 dollars in taxes, and that number would go untouched if voters were to select “yes” on their ballots.

The referendum will help fund new buildings, programs, and other improvements for students, a vote that parent Cory Sillars believes is vital.

“Certain spending is sometimes necessary and each person should just take time to get the information,” Sillars said.

There are two questions that will be on the ballot, one asks for the school district to exceed the specified revenue limit by $4 million for recurring purposes.

The other asks to borrow $148.8 million and Tess said voting no will affect the kids.

“Borrowing $148 million doesn’t come free, it does cost money, so taxes would eventually go down, but it would come at a cost,” Tess said.

He said taxes won’t go up for folks since the new referendum is merely replacing old debt from 1993 and the 2015 referenda.

“So if we can get the community 100% informed on all of the facts and get them to show up and vote on April 6, it’s a successful referendum either way,” Tess said.

The district also mentioned at the meeting on Thursday that the pandemic amplified many of the needs they’re trying to fulfill in this April 6 referendum.

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