Property Tax Relief

As property tax bills hit mailboxes, I wanted to take some time to look back on the reforms Legislative Republicans have worked on recently. In fact, most recently, we included a property tax reduction in Wisconsin’s 2021-23 biennial budget. The property tax reduction is provided as a school levy tax credit (you may see this indicated on your property tax bill). With the tax reduction included in the budget, it has been estimated that the average household will save $300.


Looking even further back, you may recall that Republicans eliminated the state-portion of the property tax in its entirety in 2017, with the last year of property taxes being paid to the state being 2018. State government does not impose a property tax, nor do we assess property values. This means that your property taxes stay close to home, going to the city and county in which you reside. Property taxes are used to support services provided by local governments, as well as local school districts and technical colleges (in communities where there is one).


However, despite our ongoing efforts to lower your property taxes, it is still possible that your overall property tax bill may have gone up. This would be because of increases at the local level, such as the voters’ approval of school referendums or assessed property value in the city in which you reside.


Still, the good news is, by putting money into the school levy tax credit, we reduced the amount property taxes may have gone up by.

Assembly Bill 617 in the Assembly Committee on Education


On Tuesday, I testified in the Assembly Committee on Education on a bill that I authored along with Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), Assembly Bill 617 (AB 617).


Under current law, if a child in 4K, Kindergarten, or First Grade is attending a choice school in the State of Wisconsin and is performing at a higher grade level in a certain subject or even all subjects, that child is not allowed to move up a grade. If the child were in a public school, the law permits a child to move up one grade to where he or she is academically. AB 617 allows choice schools in Wisconsin to also set “early admission standards” for children in 4K, Kindergarten, or First Grade so that their students are allowed the same advantages to move up a grade if they are able to based on their academic ability, by creating an exception to the minimum age requirement for admission. This bill would also allow a student, if they are especially proficient in math, for example, to move up one grade in math and remain in their current grade for all other subjects.


This bill was brought to us by a family who has encountered this exact situation and is seeking to change the law to help other students around the state. Soon this bill will go through the committee process in the Senate and will hopefully be voted on by both houses this winter.  

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