Kewaunee Co.: What a $21.9 million budget means
The number to remember is $21.9 million. This is the total expenditures in the 2017 recommended county budget. This is NOT the amount of taxes and fees that residents will pay.
Expenditures include all projected expenses the county will incur for 2017. The county budget must include those services that are paid through taxes, fees, grants and state and federal aid. For example, the Land and Water Conservation Department is estimated to receive an additional $360,000 in Targeted Runoff Management grants to assist farmers in staying compliant with state and federal regulations. This additional money must be factored into the budget as part of its overall expenditures. Still, the county will receive grant money from the state Department of Natural Resources to cover those grant costs. Therefore, while the expenses for the Land and Water Conservation Department went up, the cost to county taxpayers did not. This is why it is not uncommon for a county budget to have its expenditures increase by a higher percentage than its tax levy.
To be fair, there are additional expenses that will be paid by property taxes in 2017. The total tax levy will be about $11.4 million, or a little over half of the entire 2017 county budget. And while the tax levy has gone up by 2 percent, the tax rate or mill rate has gone down by 1.2 percent. For homeowners, it is estimated that the recommended tax rate for a $100,000 home will decrease by $7 for the county tax portion of their tax bill. The reason that the tax levy can go up at the same time the tax rate goes down is because the equalized value of property within Kewaunee County has increased. Nevertheless, the county is committed to trying to balance the residents’ need for services with the taxpayers’ ability to pay.
If you have questions regarding the county budget, you can ask your county board supervisor or send your questions to my office.
Scott Feldt is Kewaunee County administrator.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Kewaunee Co.: What a $21.9 million budget means