Area Superintendents Oppose Property Tax Freeze

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

Assembly republicans want to freeze property taxes for the next two years. They say the move will shield homeowners from bearing the burden of cuts in shared revenue and school aid.

If municipalities like school districts and local governments want to make up the difference in state aid reductions, property taxes could go up nine percent. The freeze would mean voters would have to approve any tax hikes in a referendum.

Friday in Wausau, the Superintendents of six area schools came together to voice their opposition to a freeze. Schools already face a two percent cut in state aid for next year, and many would likely raise the property tax levy to make up the difference.

Under the freeze, the only way to raise the money is with a public referendum. Some superintendents say the move is bypassing the authority of the local school boards.
Early estimates show Athens would lose $300,000 in the first year of the freeze.

  • Edgar- $110,000.
  • Marathon- $200,000.
  • Merrill- $200,000.
  • D.C. Everest- $600,000
  • Wausau- $1.2 million.

It is too late in the year for school districts to issue lay-off notices for the next school year, so districts would have to make cuts to programs like music, athletics, and fine arts.

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle says he is opposed to the freeze, but he hasn't decided if he will veto the proposal.

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