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Waupaca schools levy lower taxes

District pays down long-term debt

By Robert Cloud

Local property owners will see a significant drop in the taxes they pay to the Waupaca School District in 2020.

The district’s tax levy will decrease from $16.66 million in 2018-19 to $12.93 million in 2019-20.

As a result, the tax rate will drop from $10.84 per $1,000 of equalized value to a mill rate of $7.86.

That means the owner of a $100,000 home will see the district’s portion of their 2020 tax bill decrease from $1,084 to $786.

The Waupaca School Board set the 2019-20 budget after a public hearing on Oct. 30.

The board approved a total budget of $32.2 million, which includes special education and food service, as well as general instruction.

A major contributing factor to the tax reduction is that the district has paid off all the bonds it issued when it built the new high school in 2000.

The debt service on those bonds averaged more than $3.1 million annually.

In two years, the 2017 state loan for Comet Field will be paid off. The district currently pays $216,000 annually in principal and interest.

Waupaca’s general state aid also increased for 2020.

In 2019-20, the district will receive $9.65 million in state aid, up from $8.68 million in 2018-19.

The nearly $1 million hike in state aid for 2020 is after a cumulative decline of more than $3 million since 2009-10.

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