Now that property tax paying-time for 2009 is coming up it is perhaps appropriate to discuss the phenomenon of continuously rising property taxes, not only in the city but in suburbs such as in Shorewood.
I haven't looked very closely but I don't think that my property tax bill has shown any sign of decrease at any point since I came here to Shorewood in 1970, almost 40 years ago.
One might ask why? Services have not increased, not as I know. Perhaps it is due to increasing costs of those services for varying reasons, some due to state give-and-takes, especially in the case of school districts.
We've been told that this year our increased contribution to the state pension system is one of those reasons.
Yet I think that it would be safe to say that an inflation factor is permanently built into the local property tax system.
Some communities have tried to shift the burden somewhat to industry and to or commercially classified properties.
There may be one or two communities where enlarged use in these classifications makes a significance and residential tax may decrease. But even so, then commercial and industrial property receivies the steady rise in the tax bill unless there's a rise in new development.
It would be interesting to see the inflation factor of the Village of Shorewood's budget as compared to general inflation over the past few decades. Of course, there may more variance in the school district budget for understandable reasons.
Perhaps someone at Village Hall already has the figures and comparing presentations.I suspect, that in spite of all the efforts to hold taxes down that their is an “institutionalized factor” constantly trending toward inflation.
“Institutionalized” in the sense of cultural expectancy and perhaps an unseen tendency ( an invisible hand, so to speak ) toward inflation.
A comparison of property tax inflation with general inflation should prove interesting.