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School Taxes Set to Rise, But Residents Have Final Say Wednesday Night

Under the proposed budget, the owner of a $400,000 home will pay $4,352 — a $142 increase from last year. Residents may vote on the tax levy at the annual meeting, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the high school.

The owner of a $400,000 home will pay $142 more in school district taxes under the budget to be formally presented at the 's annual meeting Wednesday night.

Residents will have a chance to vote on the tax levy in the school district budget. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium.

Under the budget for the 2012-13 school year, the owner of a $400,000 home would pay $4,352 in school taxes — a $142 increase from last year. Last year, the same homeowner saw their .

The estimated property tax levy will increase by 3.37 percent to $21.8 million. This year's assessed tax rate is $10.88 per $1,000, a 35-cents-per-$1,000 increase over last year's tax rate.

There's a chance the tax rate could be lower than proposed, however. The proposed budget was based on projections about how much state aid the school district will receive, but those numbers will not be certified by the state until Oct. 15.

The school district has budgeted for a $200,000 decrease in state aid, whereas the state Department of Public Instruction projects a $200,000 increase.

"We've taken a very conservative approach on the state aid amount," said Shawn Yde, the district's director of business services. "If the DPI projections are accurate, we would get an additional $400,000, which means a significant decrease in the tax rate."

The school district has mailed all Whitefish Bay residents an executive summary of the budget, along with information about staffing levels, student performance and enrollment levels. The equalized tax rate included in that document is different from the assessed tax rate used to calculate household tax impacts in this article.

The district added the equivalent of 1.83 full-time employees this year. Twenty-two new teachers were hired this year, most of which were hired to replace teachers that left the district or were reassigned within the district.

The School Board did implement cost-saving policies this year, such as . The benefit modifications are expected to save the district $2 million per year.

, a group of residents attended the meeting with the goal of reducing the tax levy by $700,000. That motion was eventually trumped by another motion to cut the tax levy by only $1,000.

Terri Hart-Ellis September 04, 2012 at 10:13 PM
The meeting is actually in the HS auditorium tomorrow evening at 7pm, changed from the usual location of rm 47.
Jeff Rumage September 04, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Thanks for the heads up, Terri! I was looking at the mailer, and didn't realize it had changed since then.
StaynConnected September 05, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Why the increase in the number of positions? Has student enrollment increased?

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