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City Taxes Will Be Lower Than Expected

While city taxpayers originally were facing a possible 2.32 percent tax increase, they could face a slightly smaller increase in 2013.

As Waukesha aldermen continue their review of the 2013 budget, City Administrator Ed Henschel is bringing forward a few budget changes that should be welcome news to the taxpayers.

While the budget was proposed in October with a 2.32 percent increase in the propoerty tax levy, that increase is now being proposed at 0.59 percent. The Finance Committee is holding a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday to finalize its budget recommendations.

A big expenditure is proposed in the budget’s capital improvement plan that will be funded through sewer use charges. The first phase of a massive sewer upgrade project is planned to begin in 2013 with the city borrowing $20.7 million to find the needed repairs, according to city staff. The sewer utility does have surplus funds to help fund the project, but an unknown sewer rate increase is like to come forward in 2013.

Other capital improvement projects – including city roadwork – could reach $7.98 million with the payments for borrowing coming from the city’s property tax revenues.

The Finance Committee went through the capital improvement plan line by line for hours Wednesday night, prompting the need for another meeting to address the operating budget. Common Council President Joe Pieper thanked the city staff members who will attend yet another budget workshop in advance.

“It is probably the most important thing we do all year,” Pieper said.

In addition to Monday’s meeting, the final budget meetings are planned in order to have the budget wrapped up before Thanksgiving:

  • 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15; Common Council budget review
  • 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20; Public hearing on budget and final adoption
Barbara R November 08, 2012 at 07:33 PM
The article above stated “but an unknown sewer rate increase is likely to come forward in 2013.” Are you kidding me? Sewer rate hikes, on top of our water bills over doubling, and the City Council members are still raising taxes and trying to justify it by saying that it’s not as bad as it could be. But it’s still bad! How do the citizens feel about these rate and tax increases, and where will the citizens get the money to pay for these increases? Time for some new people to run for City Council. Mark your calendars and tell your neighbors, sign-ups to run for City Council (9 seats open) begin this year on December 3rd at City Hall!
Sarah Millard November 08, 2012 at 07:37 PM
The city's sewer system is in need of major upgrades.
peter November 08, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Sewer system upgrades are paid for by sewer bills and water system upgrades are paid for by water bills. Therefore the City Council does not have to also raise our general property taxes. If the City Council truly understood what voters are experiencing and feeling, they would at least not raise our general property taxes and would hold to 0% tax levy. Which City Council seats will be open?
Sarah Millard November 08, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Peter, they haven't approved the budget. It is still being finalized in the Finance Committee and then it has to go to the Common Council. Have you seen any of the meetings when aldermen go through line by line through the budget to cut items out?

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