The latest from WISTAX:
School Taxes Fall for First Time Since 2006
Statewide school property taxes on December tax bills are dropping 1.0%, from $4.69 billion last year to $4.65 billion this year. According to a new report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), the decline is the first since 2005-06, when levies fell 0.5%.
WISTAX is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to citizen education and public policy research.
This year’s decline in school levies was driven largely by a 5.5% reduction in state-imposed revenue limits, which cap the amount districts can raise from state general aids and local property taxes combined. State lawmakers cut school aids by about 8% this year but limited the impact on property taxpayers by also reducing the revenue limit. This was similar to what state officials did in 2009 when school aids were cut for the first time ever and revenue limit increases were lowered.
“It is important to remember the 1% figure is a statewide number,” said WISTAX President Todd Berry. “Individual taxpayers may see larger reductions or even increases due to disparate effects of aid reductions and referenda activity at the district level.”
Overall, 269 of the state’s 424 school districts either cut their levies or left them unchanged. Last year, that figure was 82, WISTAX said. Taxes were cut by 5.0% or more in 100 districts, and were either frozen or reduced by smaller amounts in another 169. Only 36 districts hiked their levies by 5% or more, compared to 159 last year. The largest tax reductions were in Rio (-24.7%), Glenwood City (-22.1%), Rubicon J6 (-21.3%), Trevor-Wilmot (-20.4%), and Rosendale-Brandon (-20.4%).