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Nicolet Offering Tax Discounts to Senior Citizens

In exchange for helping out in various positions at Nicolet High School, senior citizens can receive up to $495 off their yearly property taxes courtesy of Nicolet.

Calling all senior citizens: Would you like some money off your property taxes? 

Nicolet High School may be able to help. 

In an effort to bring more one-on-one time to students and develop a deeper connection with the community, Nicolet is participating in the Senior Tax Exchange Program (STEP). This program allows seniors, ages 62 and older, to work with students and get paid $7.50 per hour. In December, a check is cut to the resident for up to $495 to use toward their property taxes. 

Principal Greg DePue says this program is a win for both local senior citizens and the school. 

"It provides an opportunity for them to help us out, and us help them out, because we could sure use people in a variety of areas," DePue said. 

Residents interested in participating don't have to worry about fitting certain requirements or filling certain positions. Depue said the program is set up that if someone comes forward and says they would like to be involved, Nicolet will find a place for them. 

"Someone might be an artists and would love to help out in art," he said. "Someone might be a retired engineer and tutor in math or something. It could be a variety of things, it could be ushering at a theater performance." 

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This is the first school year Nicolet is offering this program, but so far, the school does not have any participants. 

"We're just getting the word out," DePue said. "(But) it's been around for awhile."

Nicolet is joining a long list of Wisconsin school districts who've already added a STEP program including: Germantown, Altoona, River Falls, Sun Prairie, Prescott, Shell Lake, Pulaski and Fall Creek School District. 

Is this a response to Act 10?

DePue says no. Because residents voted in favor of a $10 million referendum in April 2011, having senior citizens participate in the STEP program is just an added bonus. 

"We're in a situation right now where, at least for the time being, that there haven't been a lot of cuts," DePue said. "Now that's a whole 'nother conversation as far as the future and everything."

And with 1,100 students in the building, he said every extra hand to help students is appreciated, especially when it comes to one-on-one work with students. 

In 2010, Nicolet had a 14:1 student to teacher ratio. 

"It plays two roles," he said. "We get kids extra help, combined with that ability to meet with a generation that many of them may not have connections with, and then we also get the community in our building to see what's going on - to provide feedback."

If you or someone you know is interested in joining the STEP program at Nicolet, please contact Principal Greg DePue at 414-351-7522 or fill out the STEP application online.

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