Understanding Moraine Park’s Referendum Question

This election season, residents of the Moraine Park Technical College District will vote on a referendum authorizing the College to expand facilities- targeting high-demand areas through the following projects:

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Trades enhancements
  • Manufacturing, Automation and Robotics Lab expansion
  • Fire Training Facility (new construction)
  • Health and Human Services Facility enhancement

It’s no secret, ballot language is complex. To help you be prepared for Nov. 8–here’s what you can expect to see and what it means for you.

What You’ll See:

Shall the Moraine Park Technical College District, Wisconsin be authorized to issue pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds or promissory notes in an amount not to exceed $55,000,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of capital expenditures for the purchase or construction of buildings, building additions, remodeling and improvements, site improvements, the acquisition of sites, and the purchase of fixed and other equipment at District locations, including, but not limited to, advanced manufacturing facilities at the Fond du Lac and West Bend Campuses, a health and human services facility at the Fond du Lac Campus, and a regional fire training facility?

What It Means:

Moraine Park is seeking taxpayer approval to borrow $55 million.

The total project costs cannot be more than $55M.

This translates to an estimated tax increase of $1.75 per month or $21 per year for every 100,000 of property value.

This increase is temporary and will last for no more than 20 years.

Why is a referendum necessary to fund the projects?

By state law, the amount of money Moraine Park can spend on new buildings, additions, or land acquisition without going to voters is limited to $1.5 million per campus every two years. Any new buildings, additions, or land acquisition beyond the cap (not funded through gifts, grants, or federal funds) must be approved by voters in a public referendum. 

Similar to your local school district, our funding is a combination of local property taxes, state aid, and some federal dollars. Also, like schools, technical colleges are required to seek voter approval through a referendum to pay for major building projects.  

Our mill rate (which is used to calculate a technical college’s portion of property tax bills) has been declining in recent years.

In addition, we have never used a referendum to pay for facility projects. Therefore, we do not have any referendum debt.  

Our proposed projects are too large to be funded from our annual capital budget. 

Have questions? We will respond directly at morainepark.edu/future.

Written by Kristina Haensgen
Marketing | Public Relations | Strategy | Communications | Professional Storyteller