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Falls Residents Approve Second Consecutive Decrease in School Tax Levy

Taxpayers voted unanimously to approve a $38.2 million levy for the school district, which is roughly 0.5 percent lower than last year's levy.

Menomonee Falls taxpayers on Monday resoundingly approved a $38.2 million school district property tax levy for the 2012-13 school year.

Roughly 25 taxpayers voted unanimously to approve the levy, and there were no comments or questions raised during the meeting at Menomonee Falls High School. The silence surrounding the levy could be attributed to the roughly 0.5 percent decrease in the levy as compared to last year.

Over the past two years, the school district portion of Falls residents' tax bill has dropped $57 for the owner of a $200,000 home. This year, the school district portion of the tax bill should amount to approximately $2,285 for the owner of the same valued home.

Although federal and state aid dropped once again, the mill rate also dropped $0.05 to roughly $11.42 per $1,000 of assessed value.

“We know we have areas that we will continue to grow on, but you can be satisfied with our progress of date,” said Superintendent Patricia Greco. “Our bond rating is strong, we reduced the levy, and reduced expenditures.”

Here's a look at the tax levy picture in districts in other Patch communities:

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  • The tax levy is expected to increase 4.56 percent in Wauwatosa

State funding dropped by the maximum allowable, which is 15 percent of the prior year’s funding. Funding from the state will drop from $10.3 million to $8.8 million. For comparison, during the 2006-07 school year the district received $17.5 million from the state. From that budget year on, aid was slashed on an annual basis.

The district accomplished a levy decrease by paying down long-term debt, increasing energy efficiency, and transitioning to a self-funded insurance system. The district reduced its medical and dental costs for district employees by roughly $400,000 as compared to last year. The district also trimmed spending by 2 percent.

Director of Business Services Jeff Gross also shifted several facilities and utilities expenses out of the instructional budget to the recreation department budget. The shift isolated certain recreational activity costs to the proper fund, and freed up more funds on the instructional side.

The district also utilized the remaining federal Jobs Act funding to preserve class size and programs.

Taxpayers also voted to freeze the compensation and travel reimbursements for the School Board. The board president will make $5,500, and the other members will make $5,000.

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