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Hales Corners — Residents of the Whitnall School District can expect a slightly smaller tax bill this year, as the tax levy for the 2016-2017 school year dropped around $150,000 from last year.

The total tax levy for the 2016-2017 school year, adopted by the board Oct. 24, will be $16.1 million, or $9.94 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for each homeowner.  Last year's tax rate was an even $10 per $1,000, so this slight drop will save the average homeowner a few dollars.

The total levy was changed slightly from what was presented at the annual meeting in September, since the district learned it will be receiving more state aid. The district received a substantial increase this year in the category of general aid, as well as an increase in per student aid. Per student, Whitnall will receive $250 per student this year, compared to $150 per student last year.

Even though the general fund budget actually increased from last year, from $26.2 million to $28.2 million, the increase in state aid allowed for the local tax burden to be lessened.

While the additional state aid is beneficial, Doug Johnson, business manager for the Whitnall School District says officials are unsure whether this is a permanent adjustment.

"Whether the legislature can come up with the money to keep us at those higher levels, we won't know for a long time yet," Johnson said.

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