Brown Deer village tax rate increases in light of continued property value decline

Published on: 11/5/2013

Brown Deer — The average village homeowner can expect to pay about $15 more in village taxes than last year, according to a 2014 budget and levy passed by the Village Board on Monday.

On average, village taxes account for about a quarter of a resident's property tax bill, which includes levies from other taxing authorities like the school district, Milwaukee County, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, and Milwaukee Area Technical College.

The total village budget is set to increase by about $87,000, or less than 1 percent, compared to last year. Similarly, the overall village levy increases by about $24,000, or 0.3 percent, the amount allowed by state law as a result of new construction in the village.

The levy increase, paired with a projected decline in overall village property values, is expected to cause a tax rate increase of 11 cents over last year to $8.58 per $1,000 of assessed value. For the average Brown Deer homeowner with a house valued at $136,654, that means a village tax bill of $1,138.38 — about $15 more than last year.

As Village Manager Michael Hall pointed out in his presentation to the board, 2013 marks the fifth consecutive year overall property values have decreased throughout the village. Property values were rising steadily year after year before the overall decline began in 2008, reflecting the nationwide boom and bust pattern of the housing bubble and so-called Great Recession.

At the meeting Monday, the board approved funding for a 32nd sworn officer in the police department. The department had 32 officers in the past but had left the position vacant in 2013 due to budget cuts. At a previous board meeting, Police Chief Steven Rinzel said the officer would help the department with increased training on domestic violence cases.

Brown Deer police came under fire over the last year after Brown Deer resident Radcliffe Haughton murdered his wife and two other women at the Azana Spa in Brookfield. Critics pointed to his history of domestic violence and lack of arrest prior to the incident.

The board also approved the inclusion of a code enforcement officer whose job it will be to ensure that property maintenance is continued and is up to code.