Lowest since 2011

By Jason Arndt

For the second consecutive year, taxpayers in the Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated School District should expect to see a decrease in its tax levy, after the school board authorized its budget at Monday’s annual meeting.

The tax levy, according to Director of Business Services Nicole Massie, decreased from $3,008,430 in 2016-17 to $3,006,588 for 2017-18.

About $2.2 million of the tax levy goes toward day-to-day operations with the rest directed to debt service, which is $753,130.

Massie accounts the tax levy decrease due to a 9.09 percent rise in property values, which include the Village of Salem Lakes, and small portions of the Village of Twin Lakes and Town of Randall.

Overall, the Village of Salem Lakes contributes to 89 percent of the district’s property values, with 10.5 percent coming from the Town of Randall and a less than one percent from the Village of Twin Lakes.

“Between the increase in property value and the decrease in the amount levied, the mill rate has declined from $9.58 to $8.78 per thousand of property value,” Massie wrote in a statement before the annual meeting.

For residents with a $200,000 home, they project to pay $1,756 in 2017-18, a savings of $160 from last year.

The mill rate of $8.78 per $1,000 of equalized assessed property value, meanwhile, is the lowest since 2011 when it was set at $7.46.

In 2015-16, the mill rate was at its highest at $9.655 per $1,000 of assessed property value, but has seen a drop since.

District Administrator Michelle Garven, who credited the taxpayers for their patience, said the district has developed a clearer long-term focus on expenditures.

“One of the things that the district is focusing on is maintaining an even tax levy for our citizens,” said Garven, who started her district tenure in 2015.

In a look to the future, Garven said the school has monitored expenditures more closely.

In 2016-17, the district had $7.3 million in expenditures, but has decreased spending to $6.8 million for 2017-18.

The tax levy decrease comes in spite of continuous reduction in state aid, which is $3,164,795 in 2017-18, including tertiary, secondary and primary.

For 2016-17, the district received $3,275,733 in total state aid, its lowest in school history.

The low state aid came in response to drop in student enrollment from 2014-15 when it was 562 to 528 the following year.

In 2015-16, state aid was $3,846,594.


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