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.

The Greendale School District decreased its tax levy.

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:

Year Levy %Inc 2002 7,921,390 2003 7,921,390 0% 2004 8,153,486 2.93% 2005 8,316,555 2% 2006


2% 2007


2% 2008 8,825,592 2% 2009 9,002,500 2% 2010 9,125,543 1,37% 2011 9,100,543 -0.27% 2012 9,209,750 1.20%
Jason Dembosky December 06, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Viviana, what's missing from the story is that the MMSD, MATC, and County taxes went between 4-6%. That's a big chunk of change. The Village Board did a great job on trying to offset those increases to the Village taxpayers by trimming their budget. Also, home values will remain the same, as will the assessment ratio (so I was told.)
Jason Patzfahl December 06, 2012 at 03:37 PM
And from what I understand, the Board of Trustees is (heavily) considering privatizing all garbage collection in the village. So get ready to say goodbye to family-sustaining jobs held by neighbors and residents so that the greedy grinches among us can save $6 on our property taxes. Get ready to say "Goodbye" to local control over garbage pick up and friendly, neighborly village employees - to be replaced by grumpy grunts who put in 70 hours a week at John's Disposal who will have no connection to the Village of Greendale. I wonder which trustee(s) will receive a kickback from John's when they hand them that coveted contract and layoff long-time village employees??? Whenever I go to the Dept. of Public Works to unload my debris, there is ALWAYS someone there to help me, no matter how large, small or dirty my trash is - and I'm an able-bodied young dude... I have seen these guys tell elderly residents to stay in their car while our village Public Works employees unload the residents' entire trunk for them - Hope we don't lose the friendly ones just because residents like Carl Genz don't want to chip in for services we all need.
Jason Patzfahl December 06, 2012 at 03:49 PM
...One more comment - I'd actually like to see regular trash collection AND recyclables picked up the same day, or at least each week. I often have two or three times more recyclables than regular garbage - along with quite a few of my neighbors as well. I won't mention the other neighbors who don't recycle at all (ooops, too late). In fact, more than 70% of all garbage should be recycled or composted, meaning that we should probably recycle every week, while putting out non-recyclables every other week. If it is food waste it can go down your garbage disposal or into your compost pile/bin and not sit and rot in your garbage attracting raccoons and stinking up your garage (that's a job for your "I Stand with Walker" signs - which should actually be recycled, or tinkled on by your dog, then recycled.
Jason Dembosky December 06, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Jason P., I asked about this on Tuesday. The bid for refuse collection would be for the 2014 Village Budget. Also, the savings would have to be "substantial" to be even considered. As for jobs, no jobs would be eliminated. The Board understands the value of having the Greendale DPW available to call with questions/complaints, rather than calling an anonymous person in some other city.
Jason Patzfahl December 06, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Too many Jasons... but thanks Jason D. I can't get an answer out of the village, but maybe you know which trustees want to subcontract jobs to Johns Disposal instead of keeping those jobs local???
Jason Dembosky December 06, 2012 at 04:31 PM
You'd have to go through the minutes to find that out. I don't know who brought up the idea....I'm sure it was done during the budget sessions. You can also call one of the 6 Trustees, or even President Hermes. They're really easy to talk to.
Viviana Buzo (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 04:47 PM
You're right Jason. I'm including that. Thanks!
CowDung December 06, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Jason: If there's always someone there to help those who do not need the help, perhaps there is an excess of resources... Why don't you seem to give your ELECTED trustees the same 'professional respect' that you demand that everyone to give to the ELECTED school board members?
CowDung December 06, 2012 at 04:56 PM
BTW--have you issued your public apology to Sanfilippo yet for posting his phone number and encouraging people to call him out over your baseless claim that he wanted Waukesha to put poop water in the Root River?
Jason Patzfahl December 06, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Dear "Cow Poop" The Waukesha/Oak Creek poop-water deal is back on and it is headed right through the Root River: Read the article where it states, "The DNR has asked Waukesha for additional analysis of the impact of discharging treated wastewater to the Root River" which runs through Greendale on its way to Oak Creek. http://www.oakcreeknow.com/news/cninews/oak-creek-signs-off-on-waukesha-water-deal-ra7nm6b-180231041.html I don't know about you, but I would prefer studies done to show which is more harmful, underground pipelines to convey poop water, or sending it down the Root River. Sanfellippo sat on the Milwaukee County Parks Board when this was introduced, but said nothing against it and Root River PKWY is well, a park....thus his phone # for concerned residents (262-373-9240) but since he is now an elected member of the State Assembly (15th district) and will no longer represent me in any manner (thank God) people can still call him and tell him, "Good riddance." Are you related to Mr. Sanfellippo, Mr. "Cow Poop" or just someone who likes poop?"
CowDung December 06, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Please provide some evidence that the Waukesha WWTP has ever failed to treat wastewater to the point of releasing 'flushed toilet water containing poop' into the river.
CowDung December 06, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Did you ever consider that Sanfillippo said nothing against the proposal because there will be no actual poop water released into the river by the treatment plant? Could it be considered slander or libel to make the uninformed and baseless charge that Waukesha's WWTP fails to properly treat wastewater and there is reason to believe that they will be releasing 'poop filled water' into the Root River?
Charles Latawada December 07, 2012 at 12:22 AM
When the schools get more state support, it means Greendale's property values are not keepin' up with the state. That is not a very good thing but most people don't understand what is going on.
Original Greendale Insider December 07, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Jason, I don't have a beef about the services provided by our DPW. But I think you need to get real and consider the high property tax burden we already face in Greendale compared to other parts of the state and country. Any responsible government official needs to look at all of the options to reduce cost While still providing quality services. That would include privatizing garbage collection, village maintenance, fire department efficiencies, etc... I know this runs counter to what has been spoon fed to you from your communist Professor's, but it is an economic reality today. By the way, the people who work for Veolia are nice people too and might even live in Greendale!
Spate Cooley December 07, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Evidently Mr. Pratfall you do not know the meaning of treated wastewater.
Jason Patzfahl December 07, 2012 at 01:49 PM
All I am asking is that a thorough study be completed of discharging "treated" wastewater into the Root River Parkway be done before allowing this deal to move forward. I would rather Waukesha construct the infrastructure necessary to return this wastewater within pipes instead of down the Root River, which is a protected nature preserve for nearly the last 100 years. Yes, poop is natural, but there has to be a better, maybe not cheaper, but much less harmful way to send treated poop-water back than through a river that passes behind dozens of homes in Greendale via a protected State Park where children play and people jog and ride bikes on a daily basis. If you have such a fecal fetish, why not annex some of your property to Waukesha to use as a vehicle for its "treated wastewater?"
CowDung December 07, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Jason: The study is being done because of increased flow volumes, not because there's going to be poop in the water. Jason--Please educate yourself and schedule a tour of the Waukesha WWTP. It really is a nice facility. Their effluent has to meet environmental guidelines for water quality. It is constantly tested and monitored and they will get fined (and shut down) if they are putting poop in the river.
CowDung December 07, 2012 at 03:18 PM
...and you aren't just asking that a thorough study be done. You have already come to the erroneous conclusion that wastewater treatment plants will discharge poop water into public waterways, and want people to harass Sanfilippo because he didn't arrive at that same conclusion.
Jason Patzfahl December 07, 2012 at 06:30 PM
We know from the past that in cases of increased flow volumes due to either more customers or in most cases, rainwater, raw sewage will go down these waterways and make their way into Lake Michigan right in front of the plant. So why not bypass that possibility and ask Waukesha to look elsewhere for water, stop expanding or build the proper infrastructure so that "treated wastewater" or the occasional raw sewage doesn't flow through the Root River. Or like I said before, you can always annex some of your property so it flows through your back yard. But when your kids hit the wiffle ball into the stream I would probably not retrieve it... ... And why Sanfellippo? Because he was my County Supervisor who sat on the Board of Parks.
CowDung December 07, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Do you even have a clue as to how many water customers the Waukesha WWTP is sized to serve? What basis are you using to determine that this water project will cause them to exceed their design loading? Has Waukesha EVER released raw sewage into waterways? Waukesha doesn't have the same situation as Milwaukee and its flawed combined sewer system. Increased rainfalls aren't going to cause the same problems that we see with MMSD and the deep tunnel. There is no reason to believe that raw sewage will be released into the Root River because of this water deal.


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