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Shorewood approves increased 2013 levy, budget

Tax bills for average home would increase $32

Nov. 20, 2012

Shorewood - Shorewood will levy more in 2013 than last year to pay down debt on infrastructure borrowing, resulting in a slightly increased budget as well.

The Village Board on Monday approved a 2013 village budget of approximately $10.6 million and a village levy of about $10.5 million, an increase of 1.1 percent and 1.79 percent, respectively.

With a 2013 village tax rate of $7.07 per $1,000 of assessed value, the average Shorewood home valued at $300,000 would have a bill of $2,122 to support the 2013 budget - up $32 from last year.

The village's total levy increases by nearly 35 percent compared to last year to nearly $12 million, to offset an assessment error last year that dramatically overvalued one of the village's tax incremental financing districts. Last year's general operating levy was reduced by the amount of the added tax revenue in the district, with the added revenue being moved to the general fund. This year, that same general operating levy increases by the same amount to balance out the corrected, lessened amount of tax revenue generated by the TIF district.

Though the increase in total levy appears big on paper, village officials pointed out that the balancing act of the 2012 and 2013 levies didn't and won't affect Shorewood taxpayers.

"The assessment error still impacts the way the levy looks," Village Manager Chris Swartz said, "but it has no impact on the tax bills."

Finance Director Stephanie Walker said the village will include a letter with tax bills to explain the assessment error and the adjustments made to mitigate its effects.

The 2013 budget includes no permit or fee increases, though the Village Board is still considering the addition of a stormwater utility bill to help defray costs on the village's ongoing $32 million stormwater overhaul. Swartz told the board Monday that the issue will likely come up again in a January or February meeting.

Changes to the budget since last year include a $2,000 investment in a neighborhood mediation program, about half as much budgeted for elections due to fewer contests, lifeguard services at Atwater beach maintained at a slightly higher cost, and an upfront payment of $50,000 to begin converting the police department's records software to a new platform.

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