Waupaca’s tax levy for 2017 unchanged
By Angie Landsverk
For the second consecutive year, city of Waupaca taxpayers will see a lower city tax rate when they open their tax bills.
Waupaca’s mill rate will be $10.10 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
That compares to the city’s present mill rate of $10.19.
The owner of a $100,000 home in the city will pay $145.20 less in total taxes.
That is because in addition to the city having a lower tax rate, the tax rates of the other taxing authorities – the state, Waupaca County, the Waupaca School District and Fox Valley Technical College – have lower tax rates as well.
The Waupaca Common Council approved the city’s 2017 budget by a vote of 10-0 when it met on Nov. 15.
The approved budget will be supported by a levy of $3.47 million levy, Kathy Kasza, the city’s finance director and treasurer, told the council.
The levy remains unchanged from the city’s present levy.
The 2017 expenditures budget of $7.36 million is up 1.89 percent from the current expenditures budget of $7.22 million.
Kasza provided highlights of the city’s 2017 budget during a public hearing on the budget, which preceded the Nov. 15 council meeting.
The approved budget includes a 1.5 percent wage increase for all employees, with funding from the adjustment to be covered by a one-time transfer of reserve funds.
She said it is not a permanent lift for employees unless a year from now, the city is able to maintain it without another transfer of funds.
Before the council voted on the budget, Mayor Brian Smith also noted the city is back in negotiations with the police union.
That fact could affect the wages of all city employees, he said.
Kasza said the city’s contribution to the general employee health insurance plan changed from an 83/17 premium share to a 90/10 premium share to match the police union contribution.
That was funded by reducing the Health Reimbursement Account amount the city pays toward the deductible.
The city previously funded 75 percent of that amount and is reducing that to 50 percent.
It also reducing that benefit from $1,500 to $750 for those on the single plan and from $3,000 to $1,500 for those on the family plan.
She said that is possible because the benefit was underutilized.
Doing this will counter the general employee increase in the premium share from the 3 percent increase in the 2017 premium, Kasza said.
The refinancing of the recreation center bond and timing of the State Trust Fund Loan means a debt payment was not scheduled in 2017.
Staff recommended making the 2018 payment in 2017 to keep the tax levy for debt service within the same amount as it was in the previous year.
Doing so means that debt will then be retired one year earlier – in 2018 instead of in 2019.
Kasza said the Pubilc Service Commission will review the water utility’s rate structure.
That is so it may receive construction authorization for the replacement of more than 1,500 meters and for the implementation of the cellular point transmission devices, she explained.
Kasza said the city’s sewer utility will not require a rate increase in 2017.