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ERIC Number: ED504531
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Aug-18
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Attempted Tax Freeze Highlights Complexity of State/Local Control in Education Finance. Research Brief, Volume 91, Number 6, August 18, 2003
Public Policy Forum
During the 1990's, education shifted from a primarily local function, to one of give-and-take system of finance between local and state governments. Revenue limits are imposed on school districts with the primary purposes of limiting property tax increases and increasing equity in school spending. In turn, the state has agreed to fund two-thirds of school district costs. However, recognizing the tradition of local control, the law allows school districts to get around revenue limits if they pass a local referendum. This Research Brief reports on local experience with referenda; findings include: (1) There have been 421 total referenda in Southeastern Wisconsin school districts, 61 percent to take on debt and 35.6 percent to exceed the revenue cap; (2) Almost 47 percent of the region's referenda have passed since 1991; (3) Debt referenda tend to be more likely to pass; and (4) The most common reasons given for referenda to take on debt are either to remodel/renovate buildings in the district or to build additions onto buildings; and (5) The predominant reason given for referenda to exceed the revenue cap is financial difficulty. (Contains 4 figures and 4 tables.)
Public Policy Forum. 633 West Wisconsin Avenue Suite 406, Milwaukee, WI 53203. Tel: 414-276-8240; Fax: 414-276-9962; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Public Policy Forum
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin