Changes in state law and other factors are resulting in higher RUSD property taxes for 2016. The most significant is a state requirement to fund private school vouchers in Racine through a direct property tax levy. Other impacts include a state phase out of funds that are used to lower property taxes and a less-than-expected increase in local property values.
The 2016 RUSD tax rate is expected to be $10.41 after a 22-cent reduction from the state School Levy Credit. As seen in the graph below, the private school voucher levy of $.56 makes up most of the additional taxes.
State law allows an unlimited number of Racine area students in families with incomes below 300 percent of the poverty level to receive taxpayer funded vouchers to attend private schools. For 2016, RUSD taxpayers will be responsible for more than $4 million in new property taxes to pay for vouchers. The levy is expected to grow in future years as state law requires local taxpayers to cover more costs of private school vouchers.