The Department of Public Instruction has just informed School Districts that the Department of Revenue (DOR) has released the fall equalized property values*. The equalized property values are one piece of the Wisconsin school finance puzzle which effects the local levy and corresponding mill rate; in general the lower the equalized property value the higher the levy to raise a similar amount of taxes as the previous year (assuming the previous year had higher equalized property values)- the opposite is also true. Unfortunately, Prairie Farm did not receive good news for 12-13. Our equalized property values decreased from $97,905,240.00 in 11-12 to $92,162,287.00 for 12-13; clearly a loss of roughly $5.7 million in equalized property values will have an impact on the local levy. How much this will effect the levy remains to be determined because the final piece of the school finance puzzle, our State aid amount, will not be released until October 15th, 2012.
*- I have been asked on numerous occasions by folks who wonder why in some cases they were told by an assessor that their property value has increased while the school and possibly other sectors of government claim property values have dropped. The answer lies in the term "equalized". The State utilizes "equalized property values" which are determined based on some fairly complex calculations and take more into account than just the assessed property values of the district.
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