Tax-relief measure would whittle dollars from school levies

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Frank Schultz
Friday, October 18, 2013

JANESVILLE--A new law to reduce school property taxes would mean a savings of $10 to $12 for an owner of a $100,000 home in most of Rock and Walworth counties.

The estimated savings on December tax bills were calculated by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

However, residents of districts with very high per-student property values would see no relief according to the alliance. Several Walworth County districts are in that category.

An $11 savings works out to about 92 cents a month.

The governor is scheduled to sign the bill into law on Sunday.

School districts will get an extension on their deadline to set their tax levies, which were due Friday, Nov. 1. The new deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 6.

The Janesville School District will need to hold a special meeting the week of Nov. 3 to set the levy, approve its budget and meet the new deadline, said Keith Pennington, the school district's chief financial officer.

The Janesville district's annual budget hearing, however, will go on as planned. It's set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the Educational Services Center, 527 S. Franklin St.

Pennington declined comment on the tax-relief measure, saying he won't know its impact until the state certifies the numbers Thursday, Oct. 31.

“The changes will also be influenced by changes at other districts, so there is no easy formula to determine how large or small of a change will affect the (Janesville School District)”, Pennington said in an email.

By law, money from the tax-relief measure must be used to reduce property taxes. None of it can be used to increase spending on education.

Earlier this month before the tax-relief measure was announced, Pennington estimated a Janesville school tax levy of $36.13 million, a 0.16 percent increase from last year.

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