Electors to decide whether officials can tax beyond cap
Town of Belgium residents may have their say Monday, Dec. 7, on whether to allow the town to exceed the tax levy limit in next year’s budget.
A public hearing on the budget is set for 7 p.m. at Town Hall, immediately followed by a meeting of the electors — all town residents eligible to vote — followed by a Town Board meeting.
Last month, the board unanimously agreed to ask residents to exceed the levy limit by $23,769. If the residents agree during the meeting of the electors, town supervisors are expected to approve the increase as part of the 2016 budget at its meeting that night.
The increase would move the 2016 state allowable tax levy of $406,251 to $430,020. That’s $27,620, or 6.9% higher than this year’s levy.
The requested levy increase is driven by new Town Hall expenses coming in at $36,200 more than this year’s expenses. Costs were expected to rise as the town now pays for water, heat and electricity.
Included in the 2016 proposed budget is the start of a three-year project to pave 16-foot-wide Clay Ridge Road. Other road maintenance work will be delayed to allow for the project as the board last month agreed to limit the requested levy increase to new hall expenses.
If residents approve the increase, the total 2016 budget would be $584,630, a 5.1% increase over this year’s $556,020.
Towns with less than 3,000 people, according to state statutes, may exceed the tax levy limit at a meeting of the electors, unlike school districts which must hold a referendum to exceed revenue limits.
The town budget and notice of public hearing are available on the town’s website, http://www.town.belgium.wi.us.