The Gibraltar Area School District already had one of the two lowest tax rates in Wisconsin, and then private-property valuations in Northern Door County rose dramatically during the past two years.
As a result, the Gibraltar district saw its projected tax rate decline from a possible $3.41 per $1,000 of taxable property value earlier this fall to approximately $2.98 per $1,000 of taxable value, which is $298 per $100,000 of valuation. Some property owners who saw increases in their assessments might pay more in total school taxes, but some will see overall decreases.
“I think we should note this is probably the lowest mill rate of any district in the state of Wisconsin,” school board president Stephen Seyfer said during a board meeting Monday.
The average mill rate for K-12 districts was $8.67 last year, or $867 per $100,000, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Gibraltar relies mostly on local property owners to pay educators and provide an education and facilities for students. The board on Oct. 24 approved a budget of $15.7 million and a local property-tax levy of $14.34 million.
Also, the board briefly discussed some of the building-improvement and building-maintenance issues and costs brought up last month by representatives of the construction and contracting firm C.G. Schmidt. Board member Don Helm said he heard residents remarking about some of the possible costs and the scope of campus needs. Schmidt representatives said in a report that just fixing all of the problems in the buildings during the next several years could cost at least $21 million.
Helm emphasized that the board has made no decisions but certainly is looking to replace many windows in the elementary building for safety, efficiency and weatherproofing reasons. He said board members in a committee meeting this month also discussed some fairly immediate needs for the roof and exterior walls of Door Community Auditorium.