Anticipated decrease of $1 per $1,000 in valuation attributed to state aid hikes
Port Washington residents can expect to receive significantly smaller tax bills this year, City Administrator Mark Grams said Tuesday.
The overall tax rate should be about $1 less per $1,000 in assessed valuation, Grams told the Common Council.
The total tax levy — which includes funds not just for city operations but also the Port Washington-Saukville School District, Ozaukee County, technical school district and the state — will be $16 million, compared to $16.8 million last year, Grams said.
The tax rate needed to raise that levy will be $18.75 per $1,000, he said, $1.13 less than last year’s rate of $19.88.
Grams said he does not have the amount for the school tax credit, although he estimates it will be about the same as last year.
He also does not have the amounts for the lottery credit or first credit, but said those tend to remain stable.
“Overall, I would say we will see the tax rate go down about a buck per $1,000,” he said. “I think that’ll be the worst case. There’s no question people will see a reduction in the tax rate of at least $1.
“That’s good news. Everybody should be happy.”
The big reasons for the drop in the tax levy and rate, he said, are increased state aid for the Port-Saukville schools and the technical school district.
On Tuesday, the Port Common Council approved an $8.9 million budget for 2015 after a public hearing in which no one offered any comments on the spending plan.
The city’s tax levy of $4.9 million — also approved by aldermen — will require a tax rate of $5.79 per $1,000 assessed valuation, a decrease of two cents, Grams said.
The city’s recycling fee, which is a special assessment on the tax bill, will remain stable at $34, he said.
Sewer and water rates will also remain the same as last year, Grams said.
The city budget is largely a status quo spending plan, officials said, maintaining many city services while not offering many new initiatives.
Although officials are concerned about the state of the city’s roads, there are no major street projects planned in 2015. Instead, officials said, they will work to create a street repair plan and ways to finance it.
Another project not included in the 2015 spending plan is a study of the feasibility of a second fire station for the city.