The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

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Cudahy, School Board, school

School Property Taxes

Submitted By School District of Cudahy - PR

Posted: Dec. 19, 2010 10:09 a.m.


Discussion of property taxes can easily lead to critical dialogue about our community’s schools and educators.  We all have a lot at stake, and in difficult economic times, December’s property tax bill can be challenging to keep in perspective.  The partnership that occurs between our community and our schools extends far beyond the families of school age children.  Our money is an investment in the future for all of the stakeholders, and all of the families, in our community.


To help create perspective, it is important to understand that our schools have two main sources of revenue: state aid and property taxes.  City services such as Public Safety, Public Works, Health and Sanitation, Administration, Grant and Aid Projects, and Culture and Recreation are also funded by your tax dollars.  The City of Cudahy has enjoyed a long reputation of safety and cleanliness, a direct result of tax dollars at work.  Our schools are also a part of this reputation, and a selling point for home sales and overall real-estate values.


A significant percentage of our tax dollars are invested in other governmental units such as the schools.  Tax dollars help fund the everyday operations of the facilities, support staff, administration and teachers.  The schools provide communities with a focal point of educational services and activities for our children.  They are also a symbol of the community, and their quality is ultimately what attracts new residents and businesses. Ours schools are also a major employer for our community residents, and provide many community services such as: facilities for cultural, sport and recreational activities.


Our property tax levy increase is 1.69% this year.  This is a direct result of property values in Cudahy decreasing.  The changes in tax levy are created primarily by the difference in the State-imposed Revenue Cap calculation, and the amount of State Aid supplied by the State of Wisconsin to Cudahy Schools (which has been declining).  The “gap” between these two values is the tax levy, or “local effort.”  Jim Papala, director of Business Services states, “we understand that we need to keep tax rates down in these economic times”.


The School District and the board of education are challenged each year to control costs while providing a quality education to all our students.  Superintendent Jim Heiden noted that “every year it becomes harder and harder to provide a balanced education, while keeping a balanced budget”.  School administrators must collectively analyze staffing needs, finances, and resources to creatively live within our means, but still provide the best opportunities for the students in a time dwindling resources and costs driven up by inflation.


In the end when our schools, and the community, collectively agree upon their goals and decide how to reach them, everyone benefits.  Schools enjoy the informed support of families and community members, and families experience many opportunities to contribute to their children's education.  Communities look forward to an educated, responsible workforce, and an influx of families with the same set of shared values.  The staff of schools and community agencies benefit as well.  They observe boosts in morale, heightened engagement, and a feeling that their work makes a difference.


Most important, our schools build well-educated citizens ready to take on responsibilities and contribute as adult community members.  The long-term success of the schools and the community are one and the same.  When the topic of property taxes comes up, we hope you will find our schools deserving of our community’s financial support.


If you have any specific questions, please direct them to Jim Heiden, Superintendent or Jim Papala, Director of Business Services or visit


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