The 2019 Budget was presented at the Committee of the Whole meeting on November 12th and was adopted at the Common Council meeting on November 20th. We have finished compiling the final material for the budget books. Again this year we have created a digital book for your viewing online. This digital book, as well as previous year budgets, can be viewed at the following link 2019 Adopted Budget
The overall City levy amount went up by $161,317, while the City portion of the tax rate also increased by 1.23%. Spending by the department, for the most part, remains consistent with the previous budget.
This budget presented a few challenges. The biggest being the continued fluctuation in assessed value within the City of Kaukauna. The overall equalized value has increased again over last year around 6%. The 2019 budget is the first budget without the locally assessed Machinery, Tools and Patterns personal property segment. The state did increase the overall state aid for this assessment value elimination.
The City’s assessment ratio has now fallen below the threshold that the Department of Revenue (DOR) allows. The city’s residential property class is at 89.8%. DOR allows a municipality to have an assessment ratio between 90-110%. With that information, the city is preparing for a citywide revaluation that will reset this ratio to 100%. The revaluation will not only reset the ratio but also remove the inequalities in property values and property tax that is caused by the market fluctuation. The 2019 budget does include dollars for the revaluation. The 2020 and 2021 are expected to have a budget line for this revaluation as well that will spread the cost over three years. The city has 5 years to complete this revaluation.
Staff also had to deal with a few unknowns in this budget related to the changing buildings and the unknowns. The city is in phase III of the space needs. The 2019 budget has some estimations on the utilities that the new community center will use as well as eliminating the expense that comes with using the Carnegie Building, former library. The 2019 Budget includes the addition of one part-time Marketing/Media position. With the new position, additional services in social media, website management, and overall communication to the residents will be gained. Overall, the staff feels this budget is as efficient as possible to continue providing the same services to the City residents as it has in years past. Staff is continuously looking to incorporate initiatives to improve processes and create efficiency that will ultimately save taxpayer dollars.