School Taxes to Increase $78.7 Million This Year

Property owners will pay $78.7 million more in school taxes this year, even though the state budget signed last summer aimed to drive down the annual bills.

The Wisconsin Policy Forum cited the hundreds of school referendum that have passed since the 2021-23 budget was signed as one reason for the 1.5 percent increase in property taxes statewide to $5.48 billion

The group noted the increase is relatively modest when considering several factors, including the rate of inflation.

Still, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau in a June 2021 memo projected that school levies would fall by 2.6 percent on the bills sent out a year ago and 1.9 percent this year. Instead, they went up 0.3 percent last year and 1.5 percent this year.

In all, 219 districts will see their levies go up on this December’s bills, 186 will see decreases and 16 will see them remain the same.

It is the 11th straight year that statewide school property taxes will rise.

According to the report, voters have approved 456 referendum questions since 2018. That includes 246 for operating budgets and 210 for capital projects.