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City council adopts preliminary
tax levy with 6.3 percent increase
by Leslie Ehrenberg
The preliminary tax levy and budget for the City of Appleton was approved by the council at their September 21 meeting.
The adopted levy calls for a 6.3 percent increase for the 2017 property taxes. Total taxes to be levied are $1,503,770. In 2016, this figure was $1,413,899.
Looking closer at the 2017 levy, the city decreased their General Obligation payments by $34,200.
Budget wise, departmental budgets remain stable without much of an increase. Salary line items were adjusted to increase according to the union agreement.
The city attorney’s budget received a $9,000 increase. City Clerk/Treasurer Roman Fidler said City Attorney Harry Holman will be resigning from his position at the end of the year, and the city will most likely have to hire someone from out of town.
A jump in the ambulance budget was also noted. An additional $25,000 was included in salaries and another $21,000 in travel and schools and the local service moves towards training and having three paramedics on the team.
Set aside for projects was $10,000 to replace the ice skating rink board system, $15,000 for the review and implementation of the city’s comprehensive plan, $15,000 to address an air leak in the loop system of the heat pump at the civic center, and $25,000 to repair the tennis courts.
Having a negative affect on the budget is that the city will lose $14,291 in Local Government Aid, a trend that has been seen in the past few years.
According to state law, preliminary levies must be set by the end of September for the following year. This preliminary levy sets the bar for the council; when the final levy is adopted before the end of the year, the council can lower the levy, but cannot raise it.
The council asked Fidler to meet with department heads, asking where possible budget cuts could be made.
A public hearing on the proposed 2017 budget and levy was set for Wednesday, December 21, at 6:00 p.m.
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