The LFB has released its analysis of the proposed property tax relief bill, and I'd highly recommend that you not plan any major purchases around your extra funds.
The bill would increase general school aids funding by $40 million GPR in 2013-14 and $60 million GPR in 2014-15. Under the bill, general school aids funding would increase from $4,293,658,000 in the 2012-13 base year to $4,381,594,600 in 2013-14 and $4,475,960,500 in 2014-15. Compared to the base [of 2012-13 funds], the general aids appropriation would increase by $87,936,600 in 2013-14 and $182,302,500 in 2014-15 under the bill.So while property taxes will be reduced FROM WHAT THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN for the next 2 years, they're still going to be up $39 million vs. today in 2014, and up $81 million from today in 2015.
Because the additional general aid funding under the bill would be subject to revenue limits, it is estimated that the statewide school district levy would be reduced under the bill by $40 million in 2013-14 and $60 million in 2014-15 from current law. As a result, the projected school district levy would be reduced by an estimated 0.8% in 2013-14 from the level projected at the time Act 20 was enacted (from an estimated $4,735 million under Act 20 to an estimated $4,695 million under the bill), and by an estimated 1.2% in 2014-15 (from an estimated $4,797 million under Act 20 to an estimated $4,737 million under the bill). The actual school levy in 2012-13 was $4,656.1 million.
I'll forward you to the Wisconsin Soapbox blog for more analysis. Andy rightfully calls out this as symbolic BS that does little to nothing to reduce class sizes or improve public education in any sort of way. It's just a shift of funding from property taxes to general state taxes- not a bad thing on its face if you feel that's where the burdens should fall, but also not intended to change outcomes.
The Soapbox article also links to this report from the LFB that dropped late last week, which says property taxes might not be so high in 2014 for a different reason- dropping property values. In fact, the LFB now predicts that the median-valued home in Wisconsin DROPPED MORE THAN $3,000, from $151,148 in 2012, to $148,000 in 2013. Now your community's standards may differ, but that seems to indicate that any property tax "cut" you might be getting this year is more than offset from the loss of home value you're going to have.
So how's that "cutting of teacher take-home pay and demonizing public employees" strategy working out for us? I'll have more later this week after I unpack more boxes.