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The trend toward lower taxes is continuing in the Lake Country School District, where a drop in the tax rate is proposed for the sixth consecutive year.

The total tax levy, which was $4.3 million for the 2015-16 school year, is projected to decrease by about 1.5 percent, to $4.23 million for the 2016-17 school year.

The levy will be supported by a tax rate that is also projected to drop, from $4.45 per $1,000 of equalized value to $4.34 per $1,000. A household worth $500,000 would pay $2,170 in local school taxes under the new rate, compared to  $2,225 under the old rate.

Superintendent Mark Lichte credits open enrollment with contributing to the trend.

About $1.03 million is expected to come from open enrollment, up 22 percent from the 2015-16 budgeted total of $849,280.

"You don't want to run a district on open enrollment because, No. 1, you're getting half the money that you do for a resident kid, but this helps us keep our class sizes lower and not going to two sections and keeps our special areas and fine arts going," Lichte said.

The foreign language department would see a proposed 28.18 percent increase, to $92,530, from 2015-16 budget of $72,189. District accountant Jenny Oman attributed the increase to one of the school's full-time teachers taking over a Spanish class along with her seventh-grade class from a part-time staffer who left the district.

The library would also see a proposed increase to $58,204 from 2015-16 budget of $48,078, a 21.06 percent increase. Oman attributed this increase to the librarian switching to a family healthcare plan from a cash in lieu of benefits plan.

Aide spending would see a decrease of 15.06 percent to $60,460 for 2016-17 from the 2015-16 budget of $71,188. Oman said there are fewer aides this year, but there is money coming in from 4K, before- and after-school programs to cover those costs.

The expenditures would total out to a proposed total of about $6.2 million, down slightly from the 2015-16 budget of about $6.25 million.

Lake Country School is expected to vote on the budget Tuesday, Oct. 25.

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