Committee backs village budget calling for 1.19% increase in levy

Finance panel supports spending plan based on reduction in property values
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Saukville Finance Committee on Monday recommended approval of a 2019 budget that would increase the tax levy by 1.19%.

Through a somewhat freakish reduction in property values, the tax rate would jump 19.91 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation  to $7.14 per $1,000 of valuation, meaning  the owner of a $200,000 home would pay $1,428 in village property taxes, about $40 more than last year.

The levy would increase $35,358 to $3 million.

A public hearing on the budget, at which residents can comment, is scheduled to be held Tuesday, Nov. 27. The Village Board is schedule to vote on the budget following the hearing.

The committee approved the recommendation on a 6-1 vote. Trustee Scott Fischer dissented, saying spending should be held flat so as not to raise taxes.

When expenses go up, Fischer said, the taxpayer is expected “to just suck it up.”

Under the proposed budget, operations spending would increase 1.64%, by $54,988, and the capital budget would go up $938, or about half a percentage point.

Debt payments would increase 2.53%, or $27,357.

Village Administrator Dawn Wagner pointed out that the $55,926 spending increase was mostly due to a $20,000 increase in wages and benefits for unionized police personnel and a $21,681 increase in health-care premiums.

Complicating the 2019 budget was a drop of $6.98 million in village property valuation, which translates to a $48,632 drop in tax revenue, Wagner said.         

The drop in valuation was due to three factors, she said.

A successful appeal made to the state by Charter Steel affecting the village tax rate this year by $2.38 million.

A new tax exemption by the state on machinery tools reduced personal property values by more than $3.43 million.

A decrease in the state equalized tax ratio from 100.78% to 95.46% because property has been selling for more than its assessed value.

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