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Good news, bad news: Elm Grove officials keep tax levy the same

Declining property values causes tax rate to climb

Oct. 23, 2012

Elm Grove is proposing holding its tax levy at the existing level in the year ahead.

The Village Board on Tuesday, following closed session discussion, decided to modify the proposed 2013 budget to reflect a zero increase to the tax levy, in lieu of the 0.53 percent increase initially proposed by staff.

As proposed, the budget sets the tax levy at $6.49 million, the same amount levied in 2012. The estimated 2013 tax rate would be $6.60 per $1,000 of assessed value, a 32-cent or approximately 5.1 percent increase from the 2012 rate.

The reason for the greater increase in the tax rate, despite a stable tax levy, is declining property values, Finance Director Monica Hughes said.

According to a budget summary document, total assessed property values in the village decreased by just over 4.5 percent from Jan. 1, 2011, to Jan. 1, 2012.

Based on the proposed 2013 tax rate, the village portion of the tax bill for the owner of a $400,000 home would amount to about $2,640, not including user fees, which is slightly less than what the average single family household would have paid in 2012.

The budget also reflects an estimated $18 decrease in stormwater user fees in 2013, as a result of the settlement of a lawsuit against a contractor for the village's flood project, Village Manager David De Angelis said. The solid waste user fee will increase, however, by 60 cents. Overall user fees are estimated to decrease by about 2.7 percent.

The village has yet to finalize employee health insurance for 2013, which could require slight budget modifications. The village recently received a quote that De Angelis described as "favorable" to what the village had budgeted for health insurance expenditures.

The board previously reviewed the proposed budget in workshop sessions on Oct. 4 and 11. The next step will be a public hearing and budget adoption at its regular meeting next month.

To view the proposed 2013 budget, visit elmgrovewi.org. Under the drop-down "Departments" menu, select "Finance" and then "Budget."

NEXT STEP

WHAT:Village Board public hearing and adoption of proposed 2013 operating and capital budget

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27

WHERE: Village Hall, 13600 Juneau Blvd.

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