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Village residents to pay more for district projects than expected PDF Print E-mail
Written by JOE POIRIER   
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 16:14

Property taxes increase more than projected 66-cent estimate from spring vote

    When town and village of Grafton residents received their tax bills last week, many had one question — why are village residents paying so much more than the 66 cent per $1,000 assessed value increase projected when the $39.9 million school buildings improvement referendum was approved in April?
    “We’ve been getting some questions from residents and we were able to get some quick responses from the village and town’s leadership to address their concerns,” Supt. Jeff Nelson said during Monday’s School Board meeting.
    It all comes down to the difference between assessed and equalized property values, officials said.
    “The village’s assessed values didn’t reflect the Department of Revenue’s nearly 5% increase in equalized values. The assessed values in the village decreased by 1%,” Topher Adams, the School District’s director of business services, said. “Most of this decrease is the result of the depreciation of commercial property, as residential properties remain fairly flat. This results in increasing pressure on the existing residential tax bills.”
    The Wisconsin Department of Revenue determined equalized property values in the village increased by nearly $50 million, officials said, while the value of the rest of the school district – in the Town of Grafton as well as portions of the Village of Saukville and Town of Cedarburg – increased only $2 million.
    According to the state, the Village of Grafton’s equalized value increased almost 5%, while the town’s valuation went up only .01%.
    The village makes up 64.2% of the school district’s tax base while the town makes up only 33.4%, officials said.
    So the village has to pay almost $12 million of the district’s $18 million tax levy, an increase of $1.23 million, or 11.5%.
    The town, by contrast, is paying $6.2 million, an increase of $367,000, or 6.28%.
    According to Adams, residents won’t see the existing debt from a 2001 referendum on their tax bill.
    “The portion of the tax bill only shows the new debt. Nowhere on the tax bill does it show the impact of the reduced payment on the existing debt from 2001,” he said. “People might be expecting it to reflect the 66-cent estimate, where it actually only shows the new debt increase of what we were expecting to be $138 for $100,000 of property values.”

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