School board approves a 14.9% levy increase, refinancing after loss of aid throws budget for a loop
The first of 26 years of referendum debt payments and an ill-timed $1 million decrease in state aid has fueled a 13.9% spike in the Port Washington-Saukville School District tax rate estimated to cost the average property owner an additional $241 in school taxes this year.
The hit to taxpayers could have been even greater because, unbeknownst to school officials, the sale of the bonds used to finance part of the $49.4 million referendum borrowing cost the district $440,000 in general school aid, officials announced Monday.
The district, however, plans to refinance $440,000 of the referendum debt for a year to offset the levy impact of the state aid decrease attributable to the bonding.
The school board on Monday approved the revised 2015-16 budget and $15.8 million property tax levy — a $2.1 million (14.9%) increase over last school year.
The tax rate will increase by $1.29 per $1,000 of property value to $10.51.
That means the owner of a $175,000 home will pay about $241 more in school taxes this year, although that amount will vary depending on what community the homeowner lives in and how the property value of that community changed in relation to other parts of the school district.
Of that $241 increase, $175 is attributable to the referendum and $65 to the cut in state aid.