Fox Point gets a feel for budget parameters

Published on: 8/13/2013

Fox Point — Should Fox Point officials decide to raise the levy in 2014, they could only do so by 0.35 percent, according to a presentation to the Village Board on Tuesday.

Village Manager Melissa Bohse gave a presentation detailing any impacts the state budget, also known as Act 20, will have on Fox Point as village staff begins to put together a its own budget proposal.

The state budget, which was adopted on June 30, includes a provision that says municipalities can only raise a levy equal to the rate of net new construction. These state mandated revenue limits were also in place last year.

Fox Point's net new construction is 0.35 percent, Bohse said. That means if the Village Board chooses to raise the levy in the 2014 budget, it can only do so by that amount.

There are new provisions in the state budget that affect municipalities. Staff is not anticipating major implications on Fox Point's budget; however, they are keeping their eye on a few items moving forward.

Municipal fees face a few new regulations in 2014. If someone would like to challenge the price of a municipal fee, the burden of proof is on the municipality to show that the fee amount is justifiable. In the past, the burden of proof was on the person who claims the exemption.

'This is something we are watching to make sure we have that background and justification for any fee we have in place,' Bohse said.

The state budget also puts limitations on fees or fee increases that go into effect after July 2013. The budget prohibits the village from raising fees without cutting its annual tax levy by the same amount.

There are five items, including street sweeping and stormwater management, listed in the fee limitations. So far, Fox Point has not increased any of their fees. However, Bohse said it is something they will be watching as they move forward with budget recommendations.

Trustee Eric Fonstad asked if recycling fees are included in this provision. Bohse said right now the language is vague and though it does not seem like recycling is included in the list, the village is waiting for clarification.

Fonstad also clarified that pool fees are not included under the provision.