Just-passed property tax cuts will vary by school districtWisconsin property owners in more than 80 school districts will see little or no difference in their tax bills from a tax cut measure Governor Walker will sign into law this weekend.
By: Breann Schossow, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Wisconsin property owners in more than 80 school districts will see little or no difference in their tax bills from a tax cut measure Governor Walker will sign into law this weekend.
Savings for state property owners will vary because the just-passed $100 million property tax cut will be determined by Wisconsin's school aid formula.
Dale Knapp directs research at the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, which analyzed the measure's impact statewide. He said using the school aid formula is a typical way to deliver a tax cut, but there are winners and losers. People in districts with high property values and high spending will get little or no money back.
However, he says, the formula doesn't differentiate between wealthy districts and those with things like vacation homes that drive up values. “In those situations, the way the aid formula works, those kinds of districts are going to get less of the $40 million aid in some cases,” he said, “because they're so property rich ... they're almost completely outside the aid formula.”
Both the Assembly and Senate passed the bill this week. Republicans call it a good way to put money back in taxpayers' hands. Meanwhile, Democrats say it doesn't do much for the middle class, saying it will mainly benefit wealthy property owners. According to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the average Wisconsin property owner would save $13 this year.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Thursday that the school aid formula is something that concerns his caucus. “That’s something we’ll be looking at over the course of next summer and next year to see if tweaks can be made to it.”
Vos said it's too early to say what those changes would be.