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Waterloo school faces tax increase in preliminary 2024-25 budget

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The Waterloo School District’s early budget projections for the 2024-25 school year suggest a property tax increase for homeowners, with a $100,000 assessed home potentially seeing a rise of $30.80 in annual taxes.

Business Administrator Shaun Merrill detailed to the Board of Education that, due to a combination of increased expenditures and decreased funding, the tax rate could increase from $17.45 to $17.89 per $1,000 of assessed value.

This adjustment reflects the financial challenges the district faces, including salary raises for employees, higher contributions to retirement systems, and a spike in health insurance premiums.

The anticipated budget retains the same $49.8 million expenditure as the current year, distributed across program, capital, and administrative costs. However, the loss of $1.3 million in COVID-19 funding and a decrease in state aid by $117,000, as per the governor’s proposed budget, exacerbates the district’s financial strain.

This shortfall is expected to affect various school programs and necessitate the use of increased reserves and fund balance to cover the deficit. The district aims to finalize its budget by April 15, following further revisions and public input, with a vote set for May 21.