A recently introduced Assembly Bill—Assembly Bill 267—aims to call attention to the growing impact of Wisconsin voucher programs on school property taxes.
The “Wisconsin Voucher Taxpayer Transparency Bill,” authored by state Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) would require property tax bills to include information from the school district where the property is located regarding the amount of any net reduction in state aid, if any, to the district as a result of pupils enrolled in the statewide voucher program, the Racine voucher program, or the Milwaukee voucher program. (See news release.)
Continue reading Bill Seeks Transparency on Property Tax Impact of Voucher Funding
As we reported, Gov. Scott Walker recently reiterated his pledge to put additional money into public schools in the next state budget. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos have also echoed those comments.
While that is very good news that school boards should be pleased to hear, it raises important questions school leaders should be raising with their state lawmakers, including newly elected ones, and with the governor as he works to develop his budget proposal: How much additional money and will it translate into actual resources school boards can use?
As school leaders we are in the education business, so we need to educate our elected policymakers about how school funding works and how their budgetary decisions impact our schools. Together we are partners with the state in educating our children. Continue reading December Advocacy Tip: Why the Specifics Matter on School Funding Promises
As the political campaigns heat up, school leaders can be sure that when candidates and incumbents talk about placing a priority on holding the line on property taxes, schools are likely to be affected.
A recent Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) analysis found that from 2000 through 2011, statewide property taxes grew by an average rate of 4.6 percent per year. Since then, annual growth has averaged 0.3 percent.
The largest recent increases (1.4 percent) occurred last year and two years ago. Last year, net levies fell by 2.3 percent as the state bought down technical college levies by providing a more than $400 million increase in state aid.
Continue reading Growth in Property Taxes Slows, Schools Remain the Biggest User
The state Assembly plans to meet on Tuesday and Thursday this week and then adjourn for the session. The Senate plans to continue meeting until the middle of March. The floor period schedule the Legislature passed at the beginning of the session calls for the 2015-16 session to end April 7. Leaders in both houses have decided to end the session earlier than scheduled. Before adjourning the Assembly plans to take up a number of K-12 education related bills.
The following bills are on the proposed Assembly calendar for Tuesday, February 16:
AB-751 Special Needs Scholarship Program (Jagler, John (R)) This bill makes technical changes to the special needs scholarship program created in the 2015-17 state budget (Act 55). The WASB is neutral on this bill but strongly opposes Assembly Amendment 3 which would reduce the revenue limit authority of the 142 public school districts that currently have resident pupils participating in the statewide and Racine voucher programs by $14.2 million annually. This revenue limit authority protects the affected school districts against the loss of state aid that follows resident pupils to the voucher school.
AB-517 School Crime Reporting (Jagler, John (R)) This bill requires high schools to report the numbers of specified crimes and other incidents that occur on school property, on school transportation, and at school sanctioned events and granting rule−making authority. While we are sympathetic to the author’s intent, the WASB has opposed this bill, in part, because it will impose new unfunded costs and responsibilities on school districts. (The future of this bill in the Senate is unclear at present.) Continue reading Assembly to Vote on Several Education Bills This Week Before Adjourning
Property taxes on median-valued homes in Wisconsin will likely go up this year, according to revised estimates by the state Legislature’s nonpartisan budget office.
While the increase would be modest, it would negate the property tax cut that Gov. Scott Walker called for when he introduced his budget and touted frequently after he signed it into law.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) estimated in July that property taxes on a typical Wisconsin home would go down by $1 this fiscal year. In a letter to lawmakers late last week, the Fiscal Bureau revised that estimate to a $16 increase. Continue reading New Estimate Predicts Slight Jump In Property Taxes on Typical Home
Property taxes on the typical Wisconsin home are projected to decrease $1 on bills this December and $2 next year according to the state’s nonpartisan budget agency.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a new estimate Monday on property taxes for a median-valued home of $154,268, property taxes are estimated at $2,830 in 2015-16. The home value is expected to increase to $159,205 in 2016-17, but property taxes would still decline to $2,828 based on the state budget recently signed by Gov. Scott Walker. Continue reading State Budget Lowers Property Tax Bill $1 This Year, $2 Next Year