Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
There was a big speech in Madison Wednesday night. In case you missed it, here’s an important excerpt of great interest to Wisconsin property taxpayers:
“For the five years prior to last year, the average school tax levy increased $220 million per year. Our reforms led to the first decrease in the school property tax levy in six years. The total school tax levy actually went down by more than $47 million.
“That means real money in the hands of real people. People like Pam Petry of Rice Lake. Mrs. Petry saw her property tax go down by more than $100 this year. Or people like Gail Griswold of West Salem who was surprised to see her bill go down, too.
“Our reforms helped protect these taxpayers and thousands of others across the state.”
Great news, right?
You live in Tax Hell, WI, i.e., Franklin.
My property taxes went up nearly $400. Who’s to blame? Who are the villains?
Tucked in your property tax bill this past December was an insert from Franklin City Hall about your expenses showing the total taxes levied on a Franklin property by the various taxing jurisdictions. Let’s examine the changes in the all-important tax levy from 2012 to 2013:
State of WI: -3.1%
Milwaukee County: -1.7%
City of Franklin: 0.0% (a property tax levy freeze)
MMSD: + 1.0%
City of Franklin TIF districts: +6.9% (a levy increase of $100,000, 2.9% of the total tax levy)
Oak Creek Franklin School District: -5.4%
Whitnall School District: -2.8%
State School Levy tax Credit: -1.0%
Franklin School District: +3.1%
If we cut up the Total Tax Levy pie, in other words, determine who spent the most (yes, spending is the key) in Franklin, we come up with according to the same document supplied by Franklin City Hall:
Total schools: 38.9%
City of Franklin: 23.6%
Milwaukee County: 19.9% (I’d include the County as a robber…what does Franklin actually get? I would submit not much)
City of Franklin TIF Districts: 2.7%
State of WI: 0.7%
We’ve known for many, many years the Franklin School District consistently robs us blind. Now we know that the school district is not only out of touch with the overwhelming fiscally conservative voting bloc in Franklin, it’s out of touch with the state that has seen property taxes on average go down as of late.
The Franklin School District doesn’t get it.
The bunch in power never will.