More than 70 Wisconsin school building and tax increase referendums were decided — and voters said yes to five-of-seven other building proposals of more than $30-million dollars each. Large projects were approved in Mukwonago, Ashland, Menomonee Falls, Muskego-Norway, and Ellsworth — while voters said no to borrowing for projects in Grafton and Peshtigo.
This will have two ill effects on the Wisconsin taxpayers. First, the tax increases will be jealously coveted by neighboring districts. I expect to see a lot more referenda later this year and next year.
Second, I suspect that politicians will see this as a sign that the taxpayers as a whole want an increase in spending on schools and the subsequent tax increases to pay for it. In particular, don’t be surprised to see some Republican senators running for election saying that they will “fix” school funding. This doesn’t bode well for the next legislative session.