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Oswego Board increases proposed levy, despite protests

Updated: December 30, 2012 3:28PM



The Oswego School Board adopted its tentative tax levy for next year at Monday night’s board meeting, requesting a 4.98 percent increase in the levy, in a 6-0 vote.

Likely, the Oswego School District will not receive that much. That request will go on to the county clerk’s office, which then determines the final amount allowed to the district, based on an increase in the Consumer Price Index and any new growth in the district.

Paul O’Malley, assistant superintendent for finance, said Monday that he expects a 3.1 percent increase in the levy over last year.

For the owner of a $300,000 home in the district, the increase would mean about $8 more a month, or about $2.50 a month more for the owner of a $100,000 home, according to O’Malley.

The proposed increase will likely be used to fill a $2.6 million shortfall in the district budget for next year.

Superintendent Matthew Wendt said he was not in a position to say $2.6 million was going to be found between now and Jan. 30. He added that the new administration’s first look at the budget started with a $7 million shortfall that has been hemmed up, largely with cuts to non-essential services, including cutting consultants and delaying textbook purchases.

But Wendt promised to the school board that the tax increases would not continue.

“We are not going to continue with tax increases over the next decade. If we do, I won’t be here, will I?” he said. “We have an initial plan to get out from underneath it.”

That plan includes day-to-day changes in schools that can bring in more funding, such as focusing on students’ daily attendance to capture more General Aid funding from the state.

The Board is set to adopt the final levy on Dec. 17.



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