On behalf of its client, the Brown County Taxpayers Association, WILL sent letters to the members of the Green Bay Area Public School District Board warning them that their 2013-2014 school budget may contain expenditures of taxpayer money that violate state law and the Department of Public Instruction (“DPI”)’s criteria for such expenditures.
The Community Service Fund, also known as Fund 80, permits a school board to levy property taxes to make expenditures for programs to be used by the community. According to the DPI, these expenditures must be used outside the regular school and extracurricular programs, open to everyone in the community, and fee supported. On August 30, 2013, the Green Bay Area Public School District reported to the DPI that it would spend over $2.5 million of Community Funds on things such as middle school extracurricular activities and administrative office positions.
“We don’t necessarily oppose spending taxpayer money on these activities,” explained Rich Carlstedt from the Brown County Taxpayers Association. “But, by law, they are to be levied and paid for with a different fund which the legislature decided was subjected to the revenue caps. School districts around the state, including Green Bay, have decided to take advantage of the fact that this tax and expenditure is outside the revenue caps and use it on items that violate the law.”
Said CJ Szafir, WILL’s Education Policy Director, “We will be carefully following the October public hearings and eventual passage of the 2013-2014 budget for the Green Bay School District. If the Board fails to listen to our warning, we will take appropriate action to assert our client’s rights, as taxpayers in the district, to ensure that the Green Bay School District complies with the law.”
The Brown County Taxpayers Association (BCTA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, public policy organization dedicated to the promotion of individual freedom, citizen responsibility, and government that is fiscally responsible, transparent, and accountable to the people.