Waupaca County plans to increase its tax levy for 2014 by $680,000.
If the 2014 county budget is approved, property owners can expect to see the county’s mill rate increase from $6.43 per $1,000 of assessed value to $6.57.
Finance Director Heidi Dombrowski presented the proposed 2014 budget Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the county board meeting.
The 2014 budget proposes a tax levy of $24.08 million, up 2.9 percent over 2013, to support $76.9 million in total expenditures.
In addition to property taxes, the county estimates $48.25 million in revenues from state aid, grants, service and permit fees, fines, sales tax and interest.
A three-year bonding package approved in 2011 will pay for $4.29 million in capital improvement projects in 2014. County highway projects account for $4 million of that total. A new roof on the courthouse and a new conveyor system at the county Processing and Transfer Facility account the remainder.
On the expenditure side, $5.89 million of the county’s 2014 tax levy will go to service the principal and interest on outstanding debt. In 2013, the county paid $23.4 million toward its debt.
However, the county’s payments on interest will drop by $129,214 next year, while its payments on principal will be increases by $325,000.
Lakeview Manor will also use $183,000 from its fund balance in 2014.
The county plans a total operating budget for 2014 of $17.19 million, up $476,592 over 2013.
Dombrowski attributed much of that increase in operating expenses to a $360,580 hike in health insurance costs and a 1.25 percent raise in the salary schedule.
“Three out of the last four years, they have not had any increase,” County Chairman Dick Koeppen said regarding pay increases for county employees. “However, they have had some things taken away from them.”
Dombrowski said another contributing factor to the increase in the county’s 2014 operating budget is due to capital outlays.
In addition to the projects that will be funded by bonds, the county is spending about $1.3 million on equipment, vehicles, minor building upgrades and new software.
Look for more details about the proposed county budget in future editions of the County Post.