With an audience of only one resident at the special public meeting, the Wednesday approved a $6.8 million budget for 2012 that's up by 0.19 percent from 2011.
The village also approved the $6.95 million tax levy, up 2.22 percent over last year. This breaks down to a tax rate of $6.55 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is up from $6.42 one year ago. An owner of a $250,000 house can expect a $32 increase on the tax bill, bringing the total to roughly $1,637.
In addition to the levy, sewer rates are going up. A typical resident will see the quarterly sewer bill go from $84.30 to $87.81, about 4 percent.
While the meeting was open to the public, only one resident showed up to voice his concerns about the overall tax rate increase and the jump in the sewer rate fees.
“When I first came to Wisconsin, I already knew the property taxes were, and still are, ridiculous, especially during the years when we were having fun,” Leroy Larson Jr. said. “When I tell my friends, both inside Wisconsin and outside of it, that I have a $250 water bill, they think it’s completely asinine.”
Village President Michael West noted that a resident’s water and sewer bill also includes charges for recycling. And, he said, the increase in recycling fees is due to the decrease in state funding for the recycling program.
“You know as well as I do that that is not a $250 water and sewer bill. It is a bill for other fees on your water bill, so we save money on postage and handling, and staff time," West said. "It is what it is, the trustees are well aware of this. You’re not the only person that’s brought this to our attention.
"We are under levy caps and we are trying to balance services, revenues and other expenses," West added. "That’s what we do here. That’s why we’re here: to find consensus and to find balance.”
Taxes are the largest source of revenue for the village, representing 83 percent of its revenue.
Property tax bills are scheduled to be in resident mailboxes by mid-December with the first payment due Jan. 31.
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