Village approves budget with small tax bump

Ozaukee Press staff

The Belgium Village Board on Nov. 8 approved a 2022 budget that carries a slight tax increase.

The tax rate is $6.76 per $1,000 of assessed value, up nine cents from this year, or 1.25%. That means the owner of a $200,000 home will pay $1,352 in village taxes, up $18 from this year’s $1,334.

The tax levy increased $19,141 to $1,066,483.

The rise in expenses was mostly driven by adding a fifth Department of Public Works employee for $32,356.

Public Works Director Dan Birenbaum said increased workload sparked the need for the position.

“We have more streets, more stuff to take care of,” he said.

Some of the village’s revenues increased. It qualified for expenditure restraint funding, a state program that gives money to municipalities that limit spending growth, and transportation aide went up.

The capital outlay budget includes $2.9 million for stormwater and street repairs on Elevator Lane, North, Commerce and Elm streets and part of Park Street.

The village plans to bid the project in spring and borrow money to pay for it. The first payments won’t come due until 2023 and may not affect village taxes due to the closure of the tax incremental district.

In other action, the board unanimously approved a 3% increase in the sewer rate to take effect in the first quarter next year, despite one senior citizen resident complaining the rate is already too high. 

“We have to keep up with what we need to keep that treatment plant running,” Village President Pete Anzia said.

“If we let that get out of date, it’s going to cost us millions.”

For the average household, that amounts to a $16.97 increase per year, Treasurer Vickie Boehnlein said.

Village employees received 2% raises. Health insurance rates rose by 9% — the village estimated a 10% hike. Dental insurance went up by 2% and vision is estimate to be flat.

In other financial moves, the Village Board in October approved changes to the recycling fees. Residents will pay $40 for access to the recycling center per year, up from $20, and $10 for a new or replacement card. New cards previously cost $25 and replacement cards were $20.

The changes will get the village closer to offsetting the cost to run its recycling center.

More than 440 cards have been issued per year since 2017.

Mattresses and box springs were also added to the list of items not accepted for recycling.

The village has received half of its $245,000 of American Recovery Plan Act funds, with the other half expected next year. The board has reached a consensus to use the money for the storm sewer and road repair projects.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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