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Fox Point Taxes Up Slightly as Board OKs $6.9 Million Budget

An extra $525,000 was also inserted into 2013 budget for the Bridge Lane Ravine Footbridge project, brining the village's total budget for the bridge to $1.6 million.

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. 

Larry Booth November 30, 2012 at 09:28 PM
It's important to note that the $2.26 million cost of this obscure and unnecessary footbridge ($1.6 million in the 2013 budget plus $625,000 in hoped-for private funding which taxpayers will pick up if the funding doesn't come through) doesn't take into account another $460,000 in borrowing costs which brings the total cost to $2,720,000. In a community of just 6,600 residents that is an obscene amount of money to spend on a FOOTBRIDGE that serves no useful purpose! How about the Village Board apply that $2.7 million to road and sewer repairs and other far more important public projects than a "Footbridge to Nowhere."
Absolutelyfabulous December 01, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Larry- Then why don't you buy some rubberbands, put some flyers together and POUND THE PAVEMENT. That is how you will get word out to the most people. I have no idea what Patch's readership is and how often for that matter, but if one way isn't working, then go a different direction. BTW..I thought they were going to put this bridge to a referendum. Is that the case or is it going to be constructed regardless of whether the $625,000 is raised by the people seeking to keep the bridge?
Absolutelyfabulous December 01, 2012 at 08:23 PM
BTW, the above table for property taxes is a bit misleading. A house assessed @ $250,000 in Milwaukee County (which Fox Point is a part of ) will be paying ~$6,250.00 in total property taxes. Larry- Why not take advantage of the complete lack of effort/organization of the Friends of Bridge Lane or whatever they are and mobilize/organize. Though, whatever connections they have/strings they pull to keep this on the table and get the Trustees to throw more money at "solutions" /fundraising efforts is interesting to say the least. Get word out via whatever is the most effective way and once again, since you have no idea how many residents even read Patch, then try something else ie Flyers if you are so passionate and enlist some other residents. I'm sure a few people can spare a couple of hours and fan out through the community. You do what you have to do and as many ways as possible.
Larry Booth December 01, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Mr./Ms. Fabulous --- I've spent dozens of hours researching this $2.7 million boondoggle, have met with village officials, written numerous articles for the Journal Sentinel and PATCH, and attended Board meetings for the past two years in an effort to alert residents and get the Village Board to come to their senses and abandon this absurd project. But I'm only one person. I can't do it all on my own. I don't see you offering to help. What have you done? What are you willing to do? Will you pay for the flyers? If so, give me a call. I'm in the phone book.
Absolutelyfabulous December 02, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Larry- The fact that you keep taking your case to the Village Trustees reminds me of the scene in Parenthood (The Movie) where the little kid has a bucket on his head and keeps banging it into the wall. The Trustees don't give a damn about you. You should have been able to realize that after they dismissed you or better yet, did you catch any of them smirking/rolling their eyes or just have blank stares when you presented your opinions. I'm going to venture to guess that did happen. As for Patch? Seriously, it is more like a high school rag w/ the inconsistencies between editors and all of the errors. As for the Journal..how many people read past the front page headlines whether it be National, local, business or sports and even then there is so much competition w/ all of the other stories readers are inundated with. Good luck..I can tell you have put a lot of effort into this, but I think you could have been more efficient and also you have to remember there are very different demographics in Fox Point financially. Some/many may not care while others will not be too happy. Select who you need to get the word out to achieve the biggest bang for your buck or in this case effort. Facebook pages/message boards reach many. I don't lose out one bit whether this gets approved or not. Don't live in Fox Point and will never use the bridge either way. Though, good luck and I mean that. Yes, you are only 1 person, but 1 person can make a difference.
Absolutelyfabulous December 02, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Oh another thing Larry- Never show them your hand ie "I am the only person." The element of surprise is really the best and truly most satisfying. Just when the arrogance cannot reach any higher levels one can come in and shatter the illusion. At least try to incorporate some fun as well.
Sarah Worthman December 02, 2012 at 08:57 PM
AbFab, regarding the chart, that's why we say "Village Property Taxes" because we're only going into the Village's portion of a homeowner's property taxes. It gets very convoluted to get into the nitty gritty details which can vary so drastically from home to home so we just show this one portion since that's all the village controls and that's all that was approved at the meeting. As for your comment about Patch, I'm disappointed you feel this way. What would you like to see more/less/different on Patch? How can we make it better?
Larry Booth December 02, 2012 at 10:31 PM
AbFab --- Just what we need, some anonymous person who doesn't even live in the village criticizing someone who is actually trying to help. If you feel so compelled to meddle in other people's business, then I make you the same offer I did before --- get involved (constructively) or butt out.
Absolutelyfabulous December 02, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Larry- Put the bucket on your head and start banging away again. I've been on your side of things when I lived on the east side/testifying at Council/sitting opposite attorneys presenting our/neighborhoods side. . If you had been so effective then how come this process is still ongoing and the village keeps throwing in tens of thousands of dollars to keep this project from derailing? Unless you're missing a few links, you realize quickly how things work. So, if you keep going in the same direction or down the same path and nothings happening, then you change course and very quickly. Real simple. So, keep writing those letters to Trustees.. And yes, 1 person can make a difference, but I guess some people are better than others or the light bulb goes off a lot sooner for some. You should brush up on your marketing & advertising skills. Seriously, I would have thought someone w/ your background would have been very quick/adept at utilizing all the media and mostly free for that matter to get the word out. BTW, if your background is in marketing & advertising, what happened to possible connections made over all those years in the business to tap into to get exposure for your side of the issue and make even more people aware or just the skills learned to make use of those in your effort outside of writing the Journal and posting on Patch. Did you even call any of the news stations? Facebook, Message Boards for info/updates/discussions. Not too difficult.
Larry Booth December 03, 2012 at 12:55 AM
AbFab --- If you support those of us who are fighting this footbridge boondoggle, you sure have a funny way of showing it. And how do you know we haven't done the things you suggest? You really ought to know the facts before you shoot off your mouth. I've read your comments concerning other issues on PATCH and you appear to be a very bitter and unhappy person. Maybe you ought to get your own issues resolved before you start giving other people advice.
Absolutelyfabulous December 03, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Just in case someone decides to backtrack and delete what they have said. From earlier, the post stating that "you are only 1 person and you can't do it yourself" and then following your 2nd post stating it's now "we" ...Keep it honest Larry. Enjoy. Larry Booth 4:05 pm on Saturday, December 1, 2012 Mr./Ms. Fabulous --- I've spent dozens of hours researching this $2.7 million boondoggle, have met with village officials, written numerous articles for the Journal Sentinel and PATCH, and attended Board meetings for the past two years in an effort to alert residents and get the Village Board to come to their senses and abandon this absurd project. But I'm only one person. I can't do it all on my own. I don't see you offering to help. What have you done? What are you willing to do? Will you pay for the flyers? If so, give me a call. I'm in the phone book. ______________________________________ Larry Booth 6:55 pm on Sunday, December 2, 2012 AbFab --- If you support those of us who are fighting this footbridge boondoggle, you sure have a funny way of showing it. And how do you know we haven't done the things you suggest? You really ought to know the facts before you shoot off your mouth. I've read your comments concerning other issues on PATCH and you appear to be a very bitter and unhappy person. Maybe you ought to get your own issues resolved before you start giving other people advice.
Absolutelyfabulous December 03, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Not bitter at all. In fact, I'm pretty happy. 1st you say "I'm only 1 person" and now you come back w/ "we". Get your stories straight Larry. I stand by what I said that for someone w/ your background of advertising & marketing, you haven't been that successful (anyone can post in Patch), because they just keep steamrolling right over you no matter what kinds of financial #'s you keep presenting or at least that what your posts indicate. Then again, maybe your're just not that effective at what you do. Please, find another comeback when your ego has been hurt. Better yet, you need to save your energies because since you are the only one carrying on this fight (your 1st post replying to me) then you're going to need all the strength you can manage. Trust me, your comments don't hurt my feelings at all. I've been on your side many times and I've/we've gotten results and/or been a hell of a lot more effective in getting the word out/people on board. Even Better- Here are 2 blogs that I just commented on the other day. Oh, the bitterness and unhappiness Larry. C'mon, you can do better!! It always amazes me what people pull out of thin air when they get called on something or their feelings get hurt. Oh, I was pretty much on target/bullseye and I'm not even a resident. http://whitefishbay.patch.com/articles/nearly-400-homeowners-will-be-billed-for-sewer-lateral-fixes http://whitefishbay.patch.com/blog_posts/are-libraries-still-relevant-in-the-age-of-google
Larry Booth December 03, 2012 at 02:19 PM
AbFab --- Your ignorance of this issue is showing through. I am not the only person concerned about and fighting against this absurd $2.7 million footbridge. Dozens of people have appeared at the village meetings in opposition to the footbridge fiasco. And a poll (albeit unscientific) of Fox point residents showed 72% opposed to the footbridge. And by the way, why don't you have the courage to use your real name when making assinine comments and disparaging other people?

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