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Shorewood taxes to increase slightly

Village stays close to planned 1% hikes annually

Nov. 19, 2013

Shorewood — Average village homeowners can expect to pay about $16 more in taxes for village services in 2014 than they did for 2013.

On Monday the Village Board approved a 2014 tax levy of about $10.6 million, a 0.97 percent increase over the 2013 levy. The increase is the first of five annual increases of about 1 percent planned by the village board; the total 5 percent increase is the amount allowed under state levy limit laws.

According to Village Manager Chris Swartz's budget presentation, the levy has increased at an average of about 2 percent over the last 10 years, in part due to a decrease in interest on village investments and declining state aid.

"Those things continued to be squeezed," Swartz said. "You have to cut expenditures, as we've done, and increase property taxes (as a result)."

For 2014 the village tax rate comes to $7.17 per $1,000 of assessed home value, a 5 cent increase over last year. For a Shorewood homeowner with a $300,000 home, that means a 2014 village tax bill of $2,152, or $15.65 more than the 2013 tax rate.

Village officials estimate the same resident's total tax bill — which includes levies from other taxing jurisdictions like Milwaukee County, Milwaukee Area Technical College, the school district, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District — to increase by about 2 percent or $140.

Overall spending is projected to increase by 1.8 percent to about $10.7 million, according to the preliminary budget approved by the Village Board on Monday.

Village debt payments are projected to decrease in 2014 due to a decrease in capital projects in 2013, though an increase in sewer infrastructure work in 2014 will likely bring debt payments back up in 2015.

Swartz pointed out that the 2014 levy increase is the smallest in recent memory.

"We went back pretty far and didn't find a smaller increase in Shorewood," Swartz said.

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