How to Read Your Property Tax Statement

From the Board of Education (1)

Our property tax bills arrived in the mail this week and the annual event brings up thoughtful questions from our residents. One timely question has been: “Why are our property taxes going up?” We are writing to share context and promote understanding.

The short answer to the above question is: Property taxes are going up because community property values are going up. That said, increased property values also reflect a thriving community.  Please consider the following background information:

The HSSD levy rate for 2019 was approved by the Board at $9.19 per $1,000 of assessed property value for the fourth straight year (after decreasing four consecutive years from $9.75 beginning in 2012). The levy rate is the only variable of our property tax calculation under direct control of the Board of Education; however, it is not shown on our tax bills. The HSSD portion of our property tax bill is calculated by taking the total estimated fair market value of our property, multiplied by the levy rate and subtracting the school levy tax credit. (See this document for more information on how to interpret your tax bill.)

During referendum planning, the volunteer Community Task Force advised the HSSD Board of Education to develop a referendum with a minimal impact on the HSSD levy rate. In consideration of this recommendation, and weighing community survey input, the Board approved a plan that maintained a stable levy, with zero increase to the HSSD tax rate.  We honored that commitment when we officially set the tax levy in October and maintained the tax rate at $9.19 for the fourth year in a row. In fact, the Board had the legal ability to levy for $1.3 million more – but chose not to in order to uphold its pledge to the community.

In summary, the increase in net tax shown on our property tax bill is a result of the increase in property values. The April 2018 referendum did not change the HSSD levy rate – and the Board of Education honored its promise. Again, this is the only aspect of our property tax calculation under our direct authority.

Our Board takes seriously its role providing great value to our taxpayers and excellent educational opportunities for our children. For these reasons, we appreciate community inquiries on any aspect of Board policy.


HSSD Board of Education
Teresa Ford, President –
Mark Ashley, Vice President –
Rachelle Paulsen, Clerk –
Garry Sievert, Treasurer/Deputy Clerk –
Jeff Eilers, Director –
Maria Lara, Director –
Vanessa Moran, Director –

HSSD to Host Student Safety and School Security Summit August 22


The Howard-Suamico School District will host a Student Safety and School Security Summit Wednesday, August 22 at 6 p.m. at Lineville Intermediate School. A panel of students, staff, and administrators will share perspectives and updates on district safety and security measures and planning. Board of Education members will also be in attendance. The one-hour event is open to HSSD families and the general public and will include a question and answer session.

For more information contact Katie Morris at (920) 662-7701 or

Lara Appointed to HSSD Board of Education


Suamico resident Maria M. Lara was appointed to the Howard-Suamico School District Board of Education by unanimous vote at the Board’s June 11 meeting.

Lara received the third-highest vote total in the April 3 election, following current Board members Vanessa Moran and Jeff Eilers. She served on the Community Task Force for the successful 2018 referendum and is the mother of an eighth-grade student in the District. For more on Lara, see the campaign candidate coverage in The Press from the April election.

“I am grateful for the appointment to the Board of Education and I look forward to serving our community,” said Lara.

Lara fills the seat vacated by Laura Barnard who resigned due to a family move outside of District geographic boundaries. She will complete the remainder of Barnard’s term, which expires April 2019.


From the Board of Education: Student Representative

Copy of From the Boardof Education

Bay Port senior Rachel Ceaglske shares her reflections on a year of service as the Howard-Suamico School District Board of Education student representative:

Communication is an integral part of the functioning of any group. The Howard-Suamico School Board is no exception. Dialogue within the Board must be professional and smooth, thus Policy Governance was implemented. The staff and administration needed to be on the same page as the Board, so staff is welcome and encouraged to attend Board meetings. Communication with the community, who are the stakeholders of HSSD, is also a key part of the Board, so Community Conversations were hosted at public locations. Finally, two-way communication between the student body and the Board is important because the purpose of the Board and the District is to prepare students for a changing world. Thus, in 2006, the nonvoting position of Student Representative to the Board was created.

I, Rachel Ceaglske, served in this position for the duration of the 2017-2018 school year. In this role, I gave the students’ perspective about decisions the Board was making. I brought the concerns of the student body to the Board and worked to find solutions to issues that students had. I also brought messages from the Board back to the students. During my time on the Board, I realized what an integral part I was playing in the successful communication of the Board. I was a valued member, and my thoughts on behalf of the student body were considered seriously.

This experience has been very eye opening for me. I hadn’t realized that the inner workings of the District were so complex. It is comforting that there is a team of administrators and Board members who work tirelessly behind the scenes to shape HSSD into the progressive district that it is. The role of the Board, which is to be accessible to the community and accountable for the performance of the schools, is a delicate one because it requires balancing the needs of the community with the needs of the school while focusing on the development of students within the schools. The HSSD Board has taken on this challenge and has succeeded. The Board has been flexible and ever changing to meet the needs of those it serves.

The HSSD Board of Education sets the standard high for the district, and the administration, teachers, and students have risen to the challenge. I am grateful to be a part of a district with a dedicated Board, forward thinking administration, passionate teachers, and strong students. The Howard-Suamico School District has great things in store for the future, and I look forward to seeing where the Board of Education leads the community.

For more information about our governance policies or our school district, please visit our website at For additional information regarding this article, contact Student Representative to the Board, Rachel Ceaglske, at or School Board member, Rachelle Paulsen, at

Ford Selected HSSD Board of Education President

Theresa Ford

Teresa Ford was elected to serve as president of the Howard-Suamico School District Board of Education by a unanimous vote of its members Monday, April 23, 2018 during the Board’s reorganization meeting.

Ford has served on the HSSD Board of Education for 13 years.

The Board also unanimously elected Mark Ashley as vice president, Rachelle Paulsen as clerk, and Garry Sievert as treasurer/deputy clerk.

Prior to the election of officers, the Board also seated new member, Vanessa Moran, who won her seat on April 3. Incumbent Board member Jeff Eilers was also sworn in for his third term in office.