Fox Point taxpayers are going to see a bump in the village portion of their property tax bills next month.
The Village Board Thursday approved a $6.9 million budget for 2013 by a 6-1 vote, with Trustee Douglas H. Frazer casting the lone "no" vote.
The $6.93 million budget for 2013 is up 1.7 percent from last year's $6.82 million budget. The board also voted to increase the property tax levy to $6.99 million, up 0.5 percent from last year's $6.95 million levy.
But Frazer said increasing the levy to cover expenditures that aren't in the budget isn't the right move. Rather than raising taxes for expenses that aren't budgeted, he would have preferred a lower levy.
"I think we missed an opportunity because we have the ability to adopt and budget with a zero increase over last year," Frazer said. "I thought we should have jumped on that because it would have sent a good signal. It was not a lot of money and, in my view, that was a missed opportunity."
Village President Michael West attributed the levy increase to the village's desire to beef up its fund balance.
"There is a portion of this increase in levy that is going to that reserve," West said. "Had we made it zero, we simply would have used more of the reserve than we're using now."
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Frazer said he still doesn't think levying for the fund balance is a good idea.
"I think it's a matter of policy that's just not a good idea for us to be doing on an ad hoc basis," Frazer said.
Village Manager Susan Robertson said the village doesn't keep track of average assessed home values in Fox Point. But here is a look at the village tax rate and village's property taxes since 2010 using a $250,000 home:2010 2011 2012 Rate (Per $1,000 of Assessed Value) $6.42 $6.55 $6.60 Village Property Taxes (Est. for $250,000 Home) $1,605 $1,637.50 $1,650
For a home assessed in 2011 at $250,000, that property owner would have paid $1,637.50 in taxes. If that home kept the exact same assessed value for 2012, that taxpayer could expect to see their bill go up to $1,650.
In addition to an increase in the overall budget and levy, the board also approved an additional $525,000 be budgeted for the Bridge Lane Ravine Footbridge project. The board already had budgeted $1,111,269 for the bridge, but Robertson said after Director of Public Works Scott Brandmeier looked over all the reports from consultant Ayers and Graef, he didn't believe $1.1 million would be enough. That brings the village's total budget for the bridge project to $1,636,269.
Robertson said, however, to fund repair, replacement or removal of the infamous footbridge.
Property tax bills are scheduled to be in resident mailboxes by mid-December with the first payment due Jan. 31.