Janesville74.7°

Winner and losers in school tax relief

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
October 30, 2007

State lawmakers shifted funding from school aids to the school tax levy credit this year. So instead of school officials using state aid to reduce the local tax levy, the money is deducted directly from individuals’ property tax bills.


So it should make no difference in the end, right?


Wrong.


The state uses one formula to divide up school aid but a different formula for the levy credit. So the shift created winners and losers.


The school aid formula favors poorer districts, but the tax levy credit favors richer ones, said Helen Dicks, an aide to Sen. Judy Robson, D-Beloit.


Dicks said the governor proposed the funding shift as part of a compromise to end the Legislature’s budget impasse.


Janesville School Board member Tim Cullen said he heard that the shift helped get key votes to pass the budget in the Assembly.


Because the school levy credit favors richer districts, the Legislature also agreed to create a new levy credit for poorer districts starting in 2009 in a $75 million program called the First Dollar Credit, Dicks said.


But for this year, here’s a list of winners and losers. A minus sign indicates a district will get that much get less money under the school levy credit than it would have gotten under the school-aid formula.


District Gain/loss


Albany -$8,439


Beloit -$6,751


Beloit Turner -$475


Big Foot $180,718


Brodhead -$14,188


Cambridge $8,034


Delavan-Darien -$98,898


East Troy -$68,859


Edgerton -$31,430


Elkhorn -$71,861


Fontana $73,317


Fort Atkinson -$38,250


Genoa City -$4,926


Jefferson -$31,944


Johnson Creek -$12,312


Juda -$504


Lake Geneva -$78,909


Lake Geneva Badger $284,615


Lake Mills -$37,102


Traver Elementary $41,720


Reek Elementary $35,861


Milton -$63,596


Palmyra-Eagle Area -$21,434


Parkview -$7,185


Sharon $628


Walworth Elementary -$6,214


Whitewater -$36,480


Williams Bay $147, 116



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