Assembly Republicans and Governor Walker have struck a deal on a proposal to provide taxpayers with a one-time tax credit of $100 per child and a one-time sales tax holiday for purchases of $100 or less. This agreement replaces an earlier plan proposed by the governor to create an ongoing, annual child tax credit.
While Republicans who firmly control the state Assembly are on board, the future of the proposal in the GOP-controlled state Senate, however, is uncertain.
According to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), it’s unclear whether Senate Republicans will support it. Fitzgerald said he will discuss the proposal with his members Tuesday.
Continue reading Governor, Assembly Republicans agree to sales tax holiday and child tax rebate
Gov. Scott Walker will highlight K-12 investments in his State of the State speech this afternoon (Jan. 24 at 3pm) to a joint session of the state legislature. These themes will likely be similar to what he shared with state education convention attendees last Friday. You can watch the speech live on Wisconsin Eye.
The governor previewed excerpts from his speech on Twitter including the following related to K-12 public schools:
Continue reading Gov. Walker will highlight K-12 investments in State of the State address
Gov. Scott Walker today announced he’s reached a compromise with key lawmakers to provide additional financial relief to both low-revenue districts and small, rural districts next year. Attempts to reach such a compromise during the 2017-19 state budget debate did not bear fruit, but today’s announcement signals new life for this effort.
The legislation is authored by Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette, pictured at right) and would increase the low-revenue ceiling from $9,100 to $9,400 per pupil beginning in the next (2018-19) school year. The low-revenue ceiling would then increase by $100 per pupil each year until it reaches $9,800 per pupil in 2022-23.
The low-revenue ceiling is a feature in state law that helps the lowest-spending school districts by allowing them to collect more in property taxes without having to go to referendum. Assembly Republicans successfully pushed to add provisions to increase the low-revenue ceiling to the state budget bill. However, Gov. Walker vetoed the measure due to concerns over the impact it could have on property tax bills. Continue reading Governor Walker Announces Support For Increasing Low Revenue Ceiling and Sparsity Aid
The 2017-19 State Budget made significant changes to teacher and administrator licensure in Wisconsin, including eliminating expiration dates for teaching and administrator licenses and restoring a system of life-time licenses.
In place of the existing licensure framework, the budget act requires the DPI to issue provisional three-year licenses for new educators, administrators, and pupil services professionals, with a lifetime license granted after the completion of six semesters of successful experience, as certified by the school boards where the person works. Continue reading Public Hearings Set on New Teacher and Administrator Licensing Rules
A record 144 small, rural Wisconsin school districts have received a total of $18.5 million in sparsity aid payments for the 2017-18 school year. These 144 school districts (comprising roughly 34 percent of Wisconsin’s 422 school districts) qualified for sparsity aid based on having a membership of 745 or fewer students and a density of less than 10 pupils per square mile of the district’s geographic area. Continue reading 144 Wisconsin School Districts Share In Sparsity Aid
With property tax bills set to be mailed this week, school property taxes are likely to come under scrutiny once again.
Although per pupil revenue limits on school districts meant to hold down property taxes were unchanged by the Legislature, 2017-18 school levies totaled $4.945 billion, a slight increase of $87.1 million (1.8%) over the previous year, according to Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI) figures, and below the rate of inflation.
That increase in gross school levies will be more or less offset by an $87 million increase in the school levy credit, through which the state directly reduces the net tax due on taxpayers’ bills. Continue reading Statewide School Tax Levies Up Less Than Inflation
The Wisconsin Legislature wrapped up its fall floor period last week. Lawmakers won’t return to the floor again until January. The fate of any number of bills may depend on how many proposals the houses want to tackle.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) told WisPolitics.com late last week that he expects the Assembly to meet for two weeks in January and two weeks in February as well.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said he expects the Senate to be in one day each in January, February and March. Continue reading Legislature Recesses Until January; Hopes Dim for Action on Sparsity Aid, Relief for Low-Revenue Districts