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Legislative Update


Despite inflation, recession worries, support for school referendums remains strong

by | Nov 11, 2022 | Election, Legislative Update Blog, State Budget, State Issue | 0 comments

Voters on Nov. 8 approved 64 of the 81 school district referendum questions placed before them, reflecting a 79 percent overall passage rate. That is generally in line with the passage rate for all types of school referenda on the ballot earlier this year.  Prior to Nov. 8, voters had approved 69 of 85 school referenda, reflecting an 81.2 percent overall passage rate.

Overall, voters have approved 133 of 166 total ballot questions this year, reflecting an 80.1 percent passage rate.  That is a higher overall passage rate than in calendar year 2021, when 43 of 71 school referenda of all types (60.6 %) were passed, but a lower passage rate than in 2020, when a record 95 of 111 school referenda of all types (85.6 %) were approved

Broken down by referendum type, voters in local districts across the state approved 32 of the 42 referendum questions (76.2%) asking for additional revenue limit authority. The table below shows the Nov. 8 results for those referenda statewide.  [NR = a non-recurring (i.e., temporary) increase; RR = a recurring (i.e., permanent) increase.]

District Name Total Amount Type Result Yes No
Adams-Friendship Area $12,600,000 NR – 2022 Failed 2,760 2,988
Appleton Area $5,000,000 RR – 2023 Passed 28,188 14,132
Athens $1,670,000 RR – 2022 Failed 816 1,111
Belleville $999,999 RR – 2023 Passed 1,897 1,240
Clayton $1,545,000 RR – 2022 Passed 396 381
Cuba City $200,000 RR – 2023 Passed 1,394 851
Delavan-Darien $15,200,000 NR – 2023 Passed 3,165 3,069
Denmark $2,775,000 NR – 2023 Passed 2,583 1,728
Fort Atkinson $3,000,000 RR – 2022 Failed 3,644 4,162
Fort Atkinson $13,000,000 NR – 2023 Failed 3,644 4,162
Fox Point J2 $12,400,000 NR – 2023 Passed 2,883 1,572
Geneva J4 $4,500,000 NR – 2023 Passed 288 275
Gillett $1,800,000 NR – 2023 Passed 1,045 876
Greenfield $20,000,000 NR – 2023 Passed 7,093 4,366
Hilbert $200,000 RR – 2022 Passed 799 636
Hillsboro $3,000,000 NR – 2023 Passed 687 664
Holmen $650,000 RR – 2024 Passed 6,431 3,975
Lake Mills Area $950,000 RR – 2024 Failed 2,301 2,894
Loyal $6,700,000 NR – 2023 Failed 556 640
Merrill Area $10,000,000 NR – 2023 Failed 4,095 4,479
Middleton-Cross Plains $65,470,000 NR – 2023 Passed 14,592 8,606
Mount Horeb Area $4,820,000 RR – 2023 Passed 4,707 2,525
North Crawford $900,000 RR – 2022 Passed 873 529
North Fond Du Lac $2,400,000 NR – 2022 Passed 2,172 1,444
Onalaska $21,650,000 NR – 2023 Passed 4,775 3,477
Oregon $11,400,000 RR – 2022 Passed 7,969 5,348
Parkview $6,000,000 NR – 2023 Failed 1,479 1,511
Prairie Farm $4,250,000 NR – 2023 Passed 497 260
Pulaski Community $8,500,000 NR – 2023 Passed 6,023 5,261
Rhinelander $16,000,000 NR – 2023 Passed 5,808 3,993
Ripon Area $5,100,000 NR – 2022 Passed 2,766 1,908
Southern Door County $2,925,000 NR – 2023 Passed 2,648 1,737
Stratford $2,935,000 NR – 2022 Failed 1,099 1,307
Sun Prairie Area $9,000,000 RR – 2022 Passed 14,192 9,270
Three Lakes $21,250,000 NR – 2023 Passed 1,745 938
Verona Area $19,000,000 RR – 2022 Passed 10,663 4,597
Waterloo $3,500,000 NR – 2022 Failed 1,162 1,269
Waunakee Community $10,000,000 NR – 2022 Passed 7,469 4,923
Waupun $2,940,000 NR – 2022 Passed 3,540 2,846
Wauzeka-Steuben $3,352,000 NR – 2022 Passed 442 229
Whitewater $17,600,000 NR – 2023 Passed 3,832 2,985
Wisconsin Dells $4,800,000 NR – 2022 Passed 2,957 2,477

In an interesting twist, voters in local districts across the state approved 32 of 39 referendum questions (82.0 percent) asking for borrowing authority (i.e., authority to issue debt) on Nov. 8. Although this passage rate reflects just the results for the Nov. 8 election, it is noteworthy that the last time the passage rate on debt issuance referenda exceeded the passage rate for revenue limit referenda for a full year was during calendar year 2012.

The table below shows the results for Nov. 8 debt issuance referenda statewide.

District Name Total Amount Type Result Yes No
Appleton Area $129,800,000 Issue Debt Passed 29,396 12,982
Athens $5,525,000 Issue Debt Failed 792 1,124
Augusta $10,500,000 Issue Debt Passed 1,000 520
Augusta $4,500,000 Issue Debt Passed 938 573
Bangor $24,000,000 Issue Debt Passed 1,215 635
Cuba City $26,850,000 Issue Debt Passed 1,266 979
Denmark $31,000,000 Issue Debt Passed 2,623 1,667
Eau Claire Area $98,600,000 Issue Debt Passed 24,970 14,026
Fort Atkinson $22,000,000 Issue Debt Passed 4,154 3,696
Green Bay Area $92,605,000 Issue Debt Passed 33,765 15,504
Hilbert $8,270,000 Issue Debt Passed 880 582
Holmen $74,750,000 Issue Debt Passed 6,257 4,130
Howards Grove $39,800,000 Issue Debt Passed 1,587 1,371
Howards Grove $2,900,000 Issue Debt Passed 1,501 1,430
Jefferson $34,000,000 Issue Debt Passed 2,935 2,655
Jefferson $8,000,000 Issue Debt Failed 2,329 3,232
La Crosse $194,700,000 Issue Debt Failed 8,433 18,875
Lake Mills Area $44,000,000 Issue Debt Failed 2,213 2,987
Menasha $99,700,000 Issue Debt Passed 5,912 3,024
Monroe $88,000,000 Issue Debt Passed 3,741 3,121
North Crawford $4,500,000 Issue Debt Passed 956 441
North Fond Du Lac $18,500,000 Issue Debt Passed 2,136 1,477
Oconto Falls $37,630,000 Issue Debt Passed 3,168 2,231
Onalaska $75,000,000 Issue Debt Passed 5,031 3,217
Parkview $15,400,000 Issue Debt Failed 1,434 1,553
Peshtigo $39,950,000 Issue Debt Passed 1,751 982
Platteville $36,000,000 Issue Debt Passed 3,034 2,199
Pulaski Community $69,800,000 Issue Debt Passed 6,605 4,641
Random Lake $29,900,000 Issue Debt Passed 1,776 1,459
Somerset $25,500,000 Issue Debt Failed 2,041 2,166
Somerset $11,000,000 Issue Debt Failed 2,051 2,126
Southern Door County $14,900,000 Issue Debt Passed 2,220 2,139
Stoughton Area $36,300,000 Issue Debt Passed 7,441 3,865
Stoughton Area $11,700,000 Issue Debt Passed 7,060 4,222
Two Rivers $38,700,000 Issue Debt Passed 3,190 1,894
Viroqua Area $17,000,000 Issue Debt Passed 2,340 1,795
Viroqua Area $3,500,000 Issue Debt Passed 2,436 1,676
Waunakee Community $175,000,000 Issue Debt Passed 6,518 5,866
Waupaca $3,875,000 Issue Debt Passed 4,852 2,020
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