Greendale Approves $9.2 Million Tax Levy, $14.5 Million Budget
The Village of Greendale approved a 1.2 percent increase to the tax levy. What's that going to look like on the tax bills?
Correction: The board approved a $14.5 million budget and $9.2 million tax levy.
The Greendale Board of Trustees approved a final $14.5 million budget with a tax levy increase of 1.2 percent ($9.2 million tax levy), while also using almost $350,000 of the fund balance.
The board approved the budget 4-1 with Trustee Carl Genz voting against it. Trustees Jim Birmingham and Allen Sikorski were not present at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Genz wanted to get the tax levy increase to zero. He proposed eliminating $70,000 from the road repair budget and using $15,000 for road repairs instead of reconstruction. He also proposed cutting $35,000 from the IT fund and $10,000 out of the tree-planting fund.
The other Trustees disagreed and thought the money was needed to continue providing quality core services.
Since the year 2002 the village’s tax levy has increased an average of 1.6%. The village will also collect additional property tax revenue from its three tax incremental financing districts that include Southridge Mall, Boston Store and Berkshire Greendale Senior Living. Money collected from TIF districts does not go to support general village operations, but instead pays down debt the village took on in creating the districts.
The village also received more than budgeted revenue, primarily due Southridge Mall building permit revenue.
The Greendale School District decreased its tax levy. County of Milwaukee,Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District have all increased their tax levy from 4 percent to 6 percent, said Michaels.
Budget Impact on Homeowners
Village Manager Todd Michaels said homeowners' tax bills are expected to go up less than 1 percent, with the 2013 budget costing the average homeowner $21.81 more than last year. He also said at the meeting that about 190 property owners will actually see a decrease.
Including the revisions in taxes and fees, the 2013 Budget projects the total tax bill for a home assessed at $201,373 to be $1,676.59. This is a $13.40 (0.81 percent) increase for the same home last year. The budget represents a monthly cost of $139.72/month to cover all village service costs other than water and sewer utilities.
The budget also calls for passing onto homeowners the cost of residential curbside recycling at $31.08 a year. The village expects recycling costs to stay the same or decrease under changes to the recycling program being considered.
Manager Michaels said when you take into account all the taxing bodies the bills will go down overall.
Savings for rainy day
The 2013 budget utilizes $349,677 from the fund balance to help pay for unexpected expenses as well as reduce some surplus funding.
In comparison, the village anticipated using $348,822 in fund balance in 2012, yet officials now believe they will use far less, only $31,000. This decrease is primarily due to a delay in hiring new staff implemented during 2012.
It’s estimated the year-end 2013 fund balance as budgeted would be $4.1 million.
Budget Impact on Employees
In 2011 most village employees did receive a wage increase. This year’s budget includes 1 percent inflationary increases in wages and 12 percent health insurance co-pay for village employees.
According to Michaels' memo, if the wage and benefit goals are not reached through collective bargaining, the village will likely have to consider other options during 2013 including a hiring freeze, furloughs or other cost saving measures.
The budget also includes $20,000 in additional funding for training department heads in efficiency and cost saving methods. The management training guarantees savings greater than the cost of the program, according to the Michaels memo.
Check out previous years' tax levies: