The South Milwaukee Common Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to pass the city’s 2020 budget. You can see it here.
I’d like to thank the council for their support, and thank our city administrator and all of our department heads for their hard work in crafting another challenging spending plan.
The good news: We were able to avoid people and service cuts, while continuing to invest in critical areas for growth.
At the same time, the levy and tax rates will increase, driven in large part by a significant increase in insurance costs and a small increase in pay for our employees. More details ….
- The city portion of the tax levy will increase 4.88%, to $11.5 million.
- Tax rates will increase from $9.38 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $9.85. So, for the owner of a hypothetical $150,000 home, your city tax bill will increase about 5% to $1,478.34 in 2020.
- Keep in mind that this for the city portion of your tax bill only. The city makes up about 34% of your overall tax bill. Schools are about 40%, and Milwaukee County and the Milwaukee Area Technical College make up the remainder.
- Tax bills should begin arriving around the second week of December.
You can read more context on my previous post.
This bears repeating …
We continue to be responsible stewards of taxpayer money, and we will continue to be. And there is strong data to prove this.
First, our strong Aa2 bond rating, reaffirmed by Moody’s just last year, and reflective of our “healthy financial position.”
Also, the Wisconsin Policy Forum — the gold standard, in my mind, of independent research on governments — recently released its Municipal Data Tool, and it shows we manage our finances, and live within our means, as well as anyone.
While their most recent data is from 2018, it shows us with the third-lowest property tax levy per capita among the 19 communities in the county. Similarly, we stack up well in their measures of net operating spending per capita (third lowest) and debt (also third lowest).
Check out the chart with this post, and do your own comparisons here.