Thursday, November 26, 2009

Proposed 2010 City Budget & Public Hearing

After months of review and deliberation, the City Council is coming upon the final step in the annual budgeting process. The public hearing for the proposed budget will be held at 7:00 PM on Monday, November 30th in the Council Chambers. Members of the public are welcome to attend to learn about the proposed budget and provide feedback to the Council.

The purpose of this blog entry is to provide you with the facts and figures about what is currently proposed for the 2010 budget. I'll summarize the basics and the bottom line. And, if you want to get into the nitty gritty of each and every line item detail, I'll provide you with the links to that information as well.

First, for the summary... Let's start with the bottom line, but before I do here's a couple important reminders:
  • What I'm presenting are the proposed figures, and still in draft form. The Council can still make changes on the 30th prior to final approval.
  • I'm focusing on primarily the City portion of the total tax bill. Keep in mind that the total tax bill includes all taxing jurisdictions - State, Blackhawk Tech, Milton School District, Rock County and the City. All that the City Council has authority over is the municipal portion. This can be confusing because the whole tax bill check is paid to the City. We then forward a portion of the total tax collection to the proper jurisdictions.
Now that the disclaimers are out of the way... If your property is valued at $100,000 this year, and you experienced the average decrease in property value of about 2%, you will be paying $14.71 more in taxes for City purposes. That's an increase of 2.15% from last year. It's easy to apply this to different values as well. Examples: $150,000 value = $22.07 more in City taxes; $200,000 value = $29.42 more; $250,000 value = $36.78 more; and so on.

The tax rate itself increases 4.30%, going from $6.70 to $6.99 (this is applied per $1,000 in value). The total levy (amount taxed to fund City functions) increases 4.50%, going from $2,440,862 to $2,550,590. Total spending on City operations increases $123,786 to a total of $3,171,603 (increase of 4.06%). In addition to operations spending, the City levy will fund $650,572 for debt service and $189,433 for capital projects.

However, on top of all that, there are two key fee impacts that have a bearing on the bottom line. A fee for refuse and recycling is included on the tax bill, which is increasing from $120.13 to $144.74 ($24.61 more). This increase is largely due to higher tipping fees imposed on our waste hauler by the State, and increased fuel surcharges and environmental fees charged by Waste Management. The other fee impact relates to the new stormwater utility. The utility was created on September 1 of this year, and for 2009 each single-family residence will be charged a total of $18.36 for four months. However since the utility will be in place for a full 12 months in 2010, each residence will pay a total of $55.08 ($36.72 more).

So, in summary and again using that sample $100,000 valued property, we are looking at the City tax increase of $14.71, plus the fee impacts of $24.61 and $36.72, for a total bottom line dollar impact of $76.04.

As I promised, below are details on how you can find more specific information on the budget as proposed:

Again, the public is welcome to attend the hearing on Nov. 30th at 7:00 PM. Or, if you have specific questions, you may contact me directly at 868-6900 (x4) or by e-mail at