Brown Deer levy increasing slightly for 2013

Tax rate increases as property value estimates fall

Nov. 6, 2012

Brown Deer - Brown Deer's village tax levy is set to increase by $9,315, or 0.12 percent, to support the 2013 budget.

The Village Board voted Monday to adopt the 2013 budget and levy which, paired with an estimated 11 percent decrease in assessed property values, means the tax rate (per $1,000 of assessed value) is estimated to increase approximately 12.7 percent from the 2012 levy to $8.74.

Assuming the average Brown Deer home's assessed value is reduced by 11 percent, the owner of that home would pay an estimated $1.40 more to support the 2013 budget than the 2012 budget. Village Treasurer Bridget Souffrant pointed out that the actual tax rate won't be known until assessed values are finalized by the state - typically during the week before Thanksgiving, she said.

Brown Deer, like all Wisconsin municipalities, is subject to state-mandated levy limits which cap any increase in levy to the amount of net new construction relative to equalized value (as determined by the state Department of Revenue) and the amount of any decreases in principal and interest payments on pre-2005 debt - though new debt service is exempt.

"As the village continues to work within the regulations set by the state, you'll see that the levy as a whole has remained unchanged since 2011," Souffrant said, "and that the general fund has been absorbing, or we've been making cuts to it, in order to keep the levy stable."

Given the state rules, Brown Deer would have been able to increase the 2013 levy by approximately $50,000 more than it did - a permanent loss of potential revenue, Village Manager Russell Van Gompel pointed out.

"We're losing the ability to raise the tax levy by $50,000, and that's a loss that'll never be able to come back," Van Gompel said. "Staff is recommending this levy. We think it's a prudent levy, but (the difference) is something you will not be able to go back and capture in the future."

The 2013 budget includes no rate increase to the village stormwater and sanitary sewer utilities, and a proposed 3 percent increase to the water utility beginning in the second quarter of 2013.

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