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Possible tax decrease predicted in the proposed La Crosse School District budget

Kaitlyn Riley

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The La Crosse School Board anticipated an increase in state aid and a drop in property tax levy after reviewing the 2021 proposed budget plan.

Patty Sprang, executive director of business services, outlined the report Monday night that showed the 2019-21 state biennial budget increased state general equalization aid funding statewide.

“At this time, we are anticipating a state aid increase of 1.78%, or $576,291 from the prior year,” Sprang said. “However, an increase in aid does not increase the ability to spend, but it does lower the local tax impact.”

The proposed property tax levy shows an estimated decrease of 4.46% or close to $2.3 million from last year.

Sprang said the equalized property value is estimated at a 2% increase over last year. Based on current estimates, the gross levy rate (mill rate), is calculated to be $10.32 per $1,000 of assessed value or $1,032 per $100,000 of property value.

“This is a decrease of 6.4% over the prior year, or a $70 decrease per $100,000 of assessed value,” Sprang said. “The levy credits that flow through the municipalities will further decrease the impact of the school levy and result in the net levy rate.”

Those dollars are not known until December.

Currently, the proposed budget is posted on the school district’s website. When all numbers related to the revenue limit, enrollment, property values, vouchers and other exemptions are known and calculated, the budget document will be updated in time for the levy to be set on Oct. 26.

There were no speakers from the public to discuss the proposed budget plan during Monday night’s hearing.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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