With enrollment, property values, and state aid all higher than projected, residents will see lower school taxes than were projected at the Mequon-Thiensville School District's annual meeting in July for the 2016-17 budget.
Approved in late October, the total tax levy is $38.2 million, an increase of 1.37 percent -- or $515,484 -- from last year. This is a decrease of $196,278 from the levy adopted at the annual meeting.
This decrease is due to the increase in projected students, which increased the levy authority by $181,272. Several revenue limit exemptions also increased the levy authority by $58,876, and an increase in general aid by $436,426.
As of mid-September, enrollment was 3,581 as compared to last year at 3,595, a 14-student drop. The projected enrollment, however, was 3,519, which means an additional 62 students are enrolled than were expected.
With no change projected at the annual meeting, equalized property valuation ended up with a 2.15-percent increase in values over last year. Therefore, with the new tax levy, the rate is $8.15 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is a decrease of seven cents over last year. A tax rate of $8.37 per $1,000 was projected at the annual meeting.
Based on the final approved rate, a home valued at $350,000 would pay $24.50 less in property taxes compared to last year.
There are no changes to the debt fund or community service fund, but the general fund revenue and expenditures were increased by $400,875.
Despite these adjustments, there is no impact to the general fund balance. The budget is still using $2.1 million in reserves toward a community pavilion and elementary school additions approved at the annual meeting.
Budget development can start as early as February or March, but according to online documents, final numbers for those three factors are typically available as of Oct. 15 each year.