Recently, the nightly news on Green Bay TV Channel 2 reported on the upcoming mayoral election. One of the candidates interviewed said he thought Green Bay’s debt was a real problem and therefore a campaign issue.
To prove his point, he stated that for the 2014 budget, 19 cents out of every taxpayer dollar was needed to pay for Green Bay’s debt. I verified the 19 cents out of every dollar fact with a phone call to the City of Green Bay’s Finance Department.
How does Waupaca compare? Depressingly awful.
In 2014, almost 41 cents of every tax dollar was used to pay for the debt accumulated by the city of Waupaca. This might be a campaign issue in Green Bay, but in Waupaca it’s both a political disgrace and a taxpayer nightmare.
Perhaps even more troubling was comparing the property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value for the city of Green Bay and the city of Waupaca. For Green Bay, the tax rate was reduced from $8.95 in 2013 to $8.86 in 2014. It was further reduced to $8.85 in 2015.
Waupaca’s tax rate for 2014 was $9.89. It was increased to $10.26 for 2015.
Your quality of life certainly includes your tax burden. Green Bay decisively beats Waupaca on that score and it is cause for alarm that Waupaca is trending in the wrong direction.
Quality of life also has to take into account how much money your government is borrowing because sooner or later, it all has to be paid back, with interest. If Green Bay has a serious debt problem; Waupaca’s debt problem is twice as bad and it’s rapidly becoming financially unsustainable.
You have a voice, please use it. Tell your elected officials to stop borrowing money. Tell your elected officials that they must learn to live within our means. Tell your elected officials you’re tired of seeing a high property tax bill every year without any meaningful tax relief. Tell your elected officials your quality of life is important to you, so it better be important to them.