North Shore districts mostly unaffected by governor's new school aid

State's $100 million increase doesn't go far

Oct. 30, 2013

Of the eight districts in the North Shore NOW coverage area, only three received enough new state aid from Gov. Walker's recent budget bill to make an appreciable difference to taxpayers.

Whitefish Bay received nearly $200,000 in new aid, which saves a resident with a $400,000 home about $42; Brown Deer received about $103,000, which saves a resident with a $200,000 home about $21; and Shorewood received about $134,000, which saves a resident with a $300,000 home about $30. Savings for the average homeowner among the other North Shore districts is in the pocket change range.

Compared to last year school tax rates across the North Shore are moving by as much as 5 percent, depending on the district.

Official 2013-14 tax rates for local districts have been unknown to this point for two main reasons.

The overall tax levy and tax rate in any given district cannot be known until the state Department of Public Instruction certifies state aid amounts in mid-October — and as aid rises and falls to each district, the levy moves in relation, since increased aid almost always translates into lower taxes for local homeowners. The $100 million increase in state aid signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker on Oct. 20 caused the DPI and local districts to recalculate their numbers last week.

The second factor is the total property value in any given school district, which is certified by the state Department of Revenue in mid-October as well. An increase in property value means a decrease in the tax rate because the levy is spread out over a greater amount of taxable property, and vice versa.

With those two crucial sets of data established, school boards across the North Shore have been certifying their 2013-14 tax levies and tax rates over the last week. The Brown Deer and Shorewood school boards will meet next week to certify theirs.

Owing mostly to an increase in district property values, Glendale-River Hills has the largest tax rate decrease since last year, dropping more than 5 percent. An increase in the district levy, paired with a more than 3 percent decrease in property values, means Maple Dale-Indian Hills taxpayers will see a North Shore-leading 4.4 percent increase in tax rate.

As of the district annual meeting in early October, Shorewood was projecting a roughly 2.4 percent decrease in the tax rate as a result of its climbing property values. Gov. Walker's new state aid could push the rate lower if the board decides to use the new money for tax relief, interim Business Manager Mike Garty said.

Likewise, the Brown Deer School Board could also use the new money for tax relief when it certifies its levy and rate next week. Business Manager Emily Koczela said the increased aid could be used to negate the automatic 0.38 percent levy increase for campus renovations and result in a flat levy compared to last year.

Impact of extra $100 million in state aid


New aid from Gov. Walker’s bill

Amount saved by average homeowner because of Walker’s bill

Prop. Value Change

Final tax rate, per $1,000 of assessed prop. value

Tax rate change vs. last year

Brown Deer






Fox Point-Bayside





Glendale-River Hills


Less than 1¢




Maple Dale-Indian Hill





















Whitefish Bay






Note: Average homeowner savings for districts other than Whitefish Bay, Shorewood and Brown Deer are all based on a $300,000 average home value.


Local Crime Map



Latest Photo Galleries