West De Pere tax rate to hold steady
By Ben Rodgers
DE PERE – The tax rate will hold steady for the 2020-21 school year in the West De Pere school district, but residents can expect to pay more due to increased property valuations.
“Our equalization value came in higher this year than last year – if you look at the fall 2020,” said Dawn Laboy, business manager at the annual meeting, Monday, Oct. 19. “So the tax levy is going to go up slightly, but the mill rate will stay level at $9.64 (per $1,000 of property value), so there’s no change from last year.”
The tax levy increased to $21.93 million, up from $20.87 million last year.
The tax levy is broken down into roughly $15.4 million for the general fund, about $6.3 million for referendum debt service and nearly $175,000 for non-referendum debt service.
The district experienced a 5.16 percent increase in equalized value from the previous year and a 32 percent increase in the past decade.
With housing, industrial and commercial developments on the horizon within the district, Laboy said this equalized value growth is expected to continue.
This will be the third year in a row the district has a tax rate of $9.64.
The rate had decreased each year since 2013, when it was $11.59.
However, with a stable tax rate, if homes are worth more, taxpayers can expect to pay more because the property has increased in value.
Laboy said the tax rate will remain stable for the 2020-21 budget in part because the district received favorable interest rates earlier this year related to bonding authorized after voters approved a pair of 2018 referendums.
Both interest rates came in under 3 percent.
When the referendum was originally proposed, rates were projected between 4 and 4.25 percent.
“Our budget you’ll see is a little higher for 2020-21, and due to the referendum, we’ll have some extra expenditures coming due for our debt payments,” Laboy said.
She said the district’s debt service fund is projected to increase from $5.94 million in 2019-20 to $11.84 million in 2020-21, with roughly $6 million from the levy and the remainder from premium discounts.
To fund the referendum projects, the district’s capital project expenditures have increased from just under $20 million to just under $50 million for 2020-21.
“In order to continue serving our students so successfully, additions and upgrades to the high school, along with a new intermediate school, are in progress,” said Superintendent Dennis Krueger. “Together with our tremendously supportive community, our district will continue its legacy of pride and excellence.”
Laboy projected total revenues for 2020-21 at $43,399,523, up from the previous year total of $42,353,129.
She presented total projected expenditures for 2020-21 of $41,440,047, up from the unaudited 2019-20 amount of $40,285,623.
The board formally approved the presented budget, tax levy and tax rate at its regular board meeting, held immediately following the annual meeting Monday, Oct. 19.