Budget approved by Village Board to have minimal impact on tax bill compared to school hike
With little fanfare or input from residents, the Saukville Village Board approved the 2016 budget last week that calls for a .8% boost in the village tax rate.
The budget requires a tax levy, including debt service and tax-incremental financing, of $2,859,649. The levy represents a 1.86% increase.
The new rate to cover village spending will be $7.09 per $1,000 of equalized valuation, compared to last year’s rate of $7.03 per $1,000.
For a home valued at $200,000, the rate means village taxes will rise $12.
Actual taxes will increase significantly more than that, because support of the Port Washington-Saukville School District makes up 50% of the tax bill. School officials project financing for the building referendum approved by voters earlier this year will add more than $1 per $1,000 of valuation to the total tax rate.
Overall, the village’s assessed valuation grew by a little more than $4 million over the past year.
The tax bill will also reflect a $5 increase in the garbage and recycling fee, to $176 per residential unit. That charge is determined by the village’s private waste hauler.
The increase in the general fund operating budget complies with the state’s Expenditure Restraint Program requirement of keeping increases below 1.1%.
Only one resident attended the budget hearing held prior to the board meeting where the spending plan was unanimously approved.
Former village public works director Roy Wilhelm did not take issue with anything included in the budget, but asked whether any creative staffing moves had been discussed.
“Has the police department considered going with part-time officers? We got by with them 30 years ago and frankly I think we are overstaffed,” Wilhelm said.
Without commenting on the merits of reverting to part-time officers, Police Chief Jeff Goetz said the village’s contract with the police union would not allow such a move.
Goetz noted the police contract runs through 2016.
In conjunction with the budget approval, trustees endorsed a compensation schedule that offers most employees an average of a 1.5% pay raise.
Trustees also approved a contract renewal with Village Administrator Dawn Wagner, who has served under a series of one-year contracts since taking the job.
Wagner’s duties, however, are being redefined as the position of administrator is being separated from that of clerk.
The change reflects the village’s ongoing efforts to increase organizational efficiency while empowering existing staff.
Deputy Clerk Mary Kay Baumann has been handling most of the day-to-day responsibilities of the clerk.
Baumann is a certified municipal clerk through the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.
While giving up the title of clerk, Wagner will be designated the village’s zoning administrator.
In conjunction with that position, effective Jan. 1, Wagner will also be designated the executive director of the Community Development Authority.
Those economic development duties have been handled by Marilyn Haroldson under a contract with the village. That contract expires Dec. 31.