Share this page on facebook
Village tax rate to drop a fraction PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Jaeger   
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 20:33

Increase in tax base makes up for slight hike in 2017 spending plan

When elected officials work out the details of a municipal budget, it is commonly called “fine tuning” the spending plan.

In the case of the Village of Saukville’s 2017 budget, it seemed many of the details were fine — with most changes in the range of a fraction of a percentage point.

That minute scale of financial moves failed to attract any residents to last week’s public hearing on the budget.

For the record, the budget calls for general expenditures of $3,453,760 — an increase of .21%.

While the operating budget will increase $25,640, capital spending will fall $18,352 — a drop of 10.13%.

Debt service payments will also decline more than 5%, to just over $1 million, thanks to police service impact fees and refinancing the borrowing for the police station.

To support the budget, the village tax levy will be $2,887,605, an increase of .97%.

However, that increase was largely offset by the village’s $5 million gain in assessed valuation.

Accordingly, the village tax rate will drop .23%, the first rate decline in nearly a decade.

The spending plan will require a tax rate of $7.07 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, down 2 cents from the 2016 rate of $7.09 per $1,000.

For a property assessed at $150,000, the rate will equal a $3.15 reduction on the tax bill, and a $5.25 reduction for the owner of a home valued at $250,000.

While not part of the tax rate, the budget also includes a $5 increase in the garbage and recycling fee, to $181 per household.

That charge is considered a user fee rather than a tax.

In going over the details of the budget, Village Administrator Dawn Wagner noted the plan meets the state levy limit and expenditure restraint program requirements, which limits increases to operating budgets by less than 1.4%.

Shortly after closing the public hearing on the spending plan, trustees unanimously approved the budget without comment.

However, Village President Barb Dickmann said that silence should not be misinterpreted as indifference to the budget preparation process.

By the time trustees voted on the budget, they were thoroughly familiar with the details.

“We started off by getting great cooperation from our department heads, who realized we wanted a budget that reflected the village’s needs, not wants,” Dickmann said.

Budget preparation included trustees taking part in a tour of all village facilities, followed by a series of workshops that covered virtually every line item.

Dickmann said the budget does double the spending for economic development, to $30,000. That money will largely be used to contract with a specialist who can help craft strategies to enhance the local tax base.

“In order for the village to keep growing, we need to place a greater emphasis on economic development,” she said.

Points of emphasis will be finding new occupants for vacant buildings in the village, identifying possible parcels for businesses as the industrial park fills and possibly attracting residential development.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.