Clintonville may lose $85,000 in tax revenue
By Bert Lehman
The equalized value for the city of Clintonville dropped $9.4 million in 2016.
“This is quite alarming, frankly,” Clintonville City Administrator Chuck Kell told the Clintonville City Council at its Aug. 9 meeting.
The $9.4 million drop comes one year after the city lost $1 million in equalized value in 2015.
The drop in equalized value has impacts on the city’s budget because the figure is used to determine how much money the city can collect in taxes, Kell said.
“What that means is at the same tax rate there is less revenue,” Kell said.
The $9.4 million drop equates to $85,000 less in taxes the city will collect.
Kell said the majority of the decrease in value is in the residential sector. The equalized value for the residential sector dropped $7.4 million.
The commercial sector saw a drop of $1.8 million, while the manufacturing sector saw a drop of $97,400.
Kell told the council that he spoke with the city’s assessor about the issue.
“I initially thought we must be able to challenge this, this can’t be right,” Kell told the council. “Because it was such a significant drop I thought there had to be something wrong.”
Kell said the city’s assessor spoke to the equalization department for the state of Wisconsin, and the state feels it is an accurate representation for what is happening in the city of Clintonville.
He added that the city is being told there are a lot of properties for sale in the city, with some of them not selling. Also, many properties that have been sold are selling for less than asking price.
Regarding the drop in value in for the commercial sector, Kell said there are a number of buildings in the community that need to be razed because of the condition of the buildings.
“There are other ones that are teetering on that pendulum and are probably going to be approaching that same situation in a couple of years,” Kell said.
He said he feels that the city needs to get rid of the buildings that the city doesn’t think will ever be used again.
Kell also suggested the possibility of the city helping business owners to improve their buildings. One way would be to create façade improvement and small business programs. He said he had success with both programs while he worked in Little Chute.
“That might be one use for your city fund balance,” Kell said.
He added, “We have to figure out a way to turn some of these numbers around.”
Compounding the problem is the net new construction for the city of Clintonville is 0.19 percent this year. Last year net new construction in the city was 1 percent.
Kell said a 1 percent increase provides the city with $37,000 in new budget money. Since the city didn’t reach 1 percent, it may mean budget cuts to remain under the levy limits.