Winner and losers in school tax relief
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?
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.
Beloit Turner -$475
Big Foot $180,718
East Troy -$68,859
Fort Atkinson -$38,250
Genoa City -$4,926
Johnson Creek -$12,312
Lake Geneva -$78,909
Lake Geneva Badger $284,615
Lake Mills -$37,102
Traver Elementary $41,720
Reek Elementary $35,861
Palmyra-Eagle Area -$21,434
Walworth Elementary -$6,214
Williams Bay $147, 116