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Board tries to make most of another $20,000 in school budget PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Schanen IV   
Wednesday, 09 November 2016 21:29

Correction to energy credit will shave penny off tax rate for Port-Saukville residents

It turns out that the Port Washington-Saukville School District left money on the table when the board approved the 2016-17 budget on Oct. 24.

A review of the budget by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s School Financial Services found an error related to a credit the district receives for its energy efficiency initiative worth an additional $20,000.

So what’s $20,000 worth to taxpayers in a budget that requires a $15.9 million tax levy? 

The board on Monday approved a revised budget and tax levy that shaves a penny off the tax rate. For most taxpayers, that penny equates to a savings of about $2 on their tax bills, although school taxes will still increase for most district residents.

“It’s a small amount, but it’s still an advantage for our taxpayers,” Director of Business Services Jim Froemming said.

Supt. Michael Weber noted that one of the advantages of approving the budget in October rather than closer to the deadline in November is that it gives the board time to make changes if mistakes are found.

Last month, the board approved a 1.1% levy increase. Because of a 4% increase in equalized property values, the tax rate will decrease and the average taxpayer is expected to pay about $20 more in school taxes.

That’s a small increase compared to last year when the board approved a levy that jumped 14.9% and cost the average property owner an additional $241 in school taxes in the first of more than 20 years of paying off $90 million in referendum debt.

Approved by voters in April 2015, the referendum allows the district to exceed its revenue limits to pay for a $45.6 million construction and renovation project at Port Washington High School, which is to be completed in 2019, and a $3.8 million expansion of Dunwiddie Elementary School, which should be finished by the end of this year. The projects will have a $2 million impact on the levy this year.

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