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Germantown's village levy decreases for 2013

Health insurance costs go up, but so do employee contributions

Nov. 20, 2012

Germantown - Germantown has a minted 2013 budget, following action Monday by the Village Board. It includes a small decrease in the property tax levy.

After months of discussion and refinement by village staff, the board voted, 7-1, in favor of the $14.18 million budget, which includes a provision the levy decrease by 0.05 percent - from $10.56 million in 2012 to $10.55 million in 2013.

Trustee Art Zabel, the sole dissenter, did not give a reason for his decision within the confines of Monday's meeting. Trustee Terri Kaminski was absent.

Before taking action on the budget, the board held a public hearing Monday in an effort to gather input from residents. No one spoke for or against the document presented to the board.

Throughout this year's budget deliberations, Village President Dean Wolter noted the goal was to have a document in place that held the line on taxes.

"I appreciate everyone's hard work," Wolter said. "The end result is certainly a zero increase. In fact, we have a decrease. It's not by a huge amount, but it's not an increase, so we were successful in that regard."

The village's largest source of income is from property taxes. Other sources include funds from other intergovernmental agencies - namely the state - at $2.17 million and service fees at $1.36 million.

There were no major changes to this year's budget. Public safety has the largest budget, at $6.69 million, followed by public works at $3.58 million and culture, recreation and education at $2.28 million.

Several line items within the budget remained the same or increased or decreased slightly, which accounted for the slight decrease in the levy.

The village anticipates paying more toward health insurance premiums, from $1.41 million in 2012 to $1.58 million in 2013, but employee contributions also will increase slightly, from $172,000 in 2012 to $180,000 in 2013. Dental insurance premiums will decrease from $90,598 in 2012 to $65,000 in 2013.

Based on numbers provided by the finance department, the village's outstanding debt stands at $27.50 million for general obligation notes and bonds and $1.56 million for utility revenue bonds.

Board approval of the 2013 budget is also tied to a list of anticipated capital projects that include improvements to road and other infrastructure.

Finance Director Kim Rath said the board will have an opportunity to vote on each capital project in February and March, as bids come in for specific work and specific dollar amounts are known.

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