Taxpayers in Neenah will see a significant decrease in payments to the Neenah Joint School District in 2017 as the District’s mill rate will drop 52 cents and remain the lowest in the Fox Valley at $8.05.
The mill rate represents the amount paid per $1,000 of property value, meaning the owner of a $100,000 home will pay $805 to the District in 2017. The state average for mill rates in 2016 was $10.24.
One of the key reasons for the decrease is due to an increase in total state aid by 11.3 percent from $30.2 million to $33.7 million. The total District budget for 2016-17 is $86.9 million. The District is also using only $200,000 from the community service Fund 80, which has a significant impact on the mill rate. The mill rate includes vouchers that are paid for students attending private schools. The mill rate would be $7.96 without the private school vouchers.
Despite the low mill rate, Neenah is in its second year of a four-year-old kindergarten program and has maintained low class sizes with 21.5 students per elementary class District-wide. The District is also in its second year of providing every student in grades 3-12 with their own personal computing device, while having devices in available in every classroom for grades 4K-2. In addition, all staff groups have received salary increases and stipends based on performance for each of the past four years.
“Our priority as a school board has been to remain fiscally responsible while providing the best opportunities for our students,” said school board president Michelle Swardenski. “I am proud of the job our District has done to remain one of the highest-performing academically while also reducing the burden on our taxpayers.”