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City Tax Rate to Decrease for Port Homeowners

Council approves city budget and sets tax levy and rate.

Completing what one common council member called a “very tough budget cycle,” the Port Washington Common Council approved the city’s 2013 budget and corresponding tax rate and levy with city taxes expected to decrease for most homeowners.

Tuesday night, the council approved the $8.6 million budget and a $4.8 million tax levy, the amount the city expects to collect from homeowners. With the city’s assessed property values taken into consideration, the levy results in a tax rate of $5.75 per $1000 of assessed property value.

The tax rate is a $.025 decrease from last years’ rate of $5.77, according to City Administrator Mark Grams.

For a home assessed at $225,000, city taxes will be about $1293.75, compared to last year’s city taxes of $1299.37.

The 2013 tax levy is $84,637 higher than last year’s levy but with a .6 percent increase in property values in the city, the tax rate is less.

Including a decrease in the recycling fee, from $44 to $33 due to an error by Veolia, the average homeowner will pay about $8 less in city taxes, according to city budget documents.

“In a very tough budget cycle, we were able to lower taxes for the average homeowner by $8 to 10,” Common Council Finance Committee Chair David Larson said.

Projects and equipment accounted for in the city’s 2013 budget include:

  • $635,000 for a new fire truck, $10,000 for a dive boat and $90,000 for a defibrillator for the Fire Department;
  • $330,000 for a dump truck, $19,500 for roof repair, and $13,000 for a grader and truck for the Street Department;
  • $79,960 for police cars, radios and equipment and $111,000 for police roof repair, a railing and a security card system for the Police Department;
  • $70,000 for the Street and Park and Recreation departments to address the emerald ash borer threat to city trees;
  • $25,000 for way-finding signage;
  • $21,400 for council computers and city software;
  • $15,000 for a study regarding stabilization of the city’s bluffs;
  • $12,500 for work on the band shell roof and a lift for the pool for Park and Recreation; and
  • $11,000 for a self-check machine for the W.J. Neiderkorn Library.
Dave November 21, 2012 at 06:50 PM
$19,500 for roof repair DID THEY NOT JUST BUILD THE ROAD DEPT ?
Dave November 21, 2012 at 06:52 PM
security card system for the Police Department who breaks into a police dept ?
Sam Vedder November 21, 2012 at 07:59 PM
That was the county.
Sam Vedder November 21, 2012 at 08:02 PM
I think it's to replace the keys and allows more control over who has access to certain parts of the building and not just the main doors.
Dave November 21, 2012 at 08:53 PM
is a card the same as a key ?Is that why they call it a key card?
Sam Vedder November 21, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Not positive, but I think each card will allow access to certain areas. So one card can be programmed for that person based on clearance level. Avoids having multiple keys and risk of unauthorized duplication. I do think they are trying to keep up with technology and this is direction official buildings are going in other cities.
Terry November 26, 2012 at 10:55 PM
While I am definitely not a fan of raising taxes, in this era of fiscal uncertainty, would it not make more sense to leave the tax rate the same, and sock some of that away in a rainy day fund? We are constantly hearing how we can't afford to support the services we have, so how does it make sense to reduce it?

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