Whitefish Bay — District residents could see a roughly 4.5 percent increase to their school tax bills for the coming year if conservative estimates of state aid hold true.
At the district's annual meeting last week, the School Board approved an approximately $40.7 million 2013-14 budget, about a 0.5 percent increase over the 2012-13 budget. District residents later voted overwhelmingly to approve an approximately $22 million tax levy.
District Business Manager Sean Yde said the 4.5 percent tax hike is premised on an estimate of state funding about $340,000 less than the amount the state Department of Public Instruction projected in July.
Should Yde's estimate prove accurate, the district tax rate would come out to $11.19 per $1,000 of assessed property value. That means a resident with a $400,000 home would pay $4,476 in school taxes for the 2013-14 year, $273 more than last year.
Using similarly conservative estimates of state aid the district has projected similar tax increases for the last two years. However, official aid numbers — compiled and certified by the DPI each October — have proved favorable each of the last two years, resulting in year over year tax decreases instead of increases.
Yde said that if state aid matches the DPI estimate from July, the tax increase will likely be somewhere in the ballpark of 3 percent.
"(Taxes) will definitely be lower (than the 4.5 percent increase)," Yde said. "That's a high water mark."
It would be the first district tax increase in three years, Yde said.
— Michael Meidenbauer
BY THE NUMBERS
percent increase to district budget
estimated increase in district taxes
estimated tax bill for a resident with a $400,000 home
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