Brookfield Property Tax Bills To Rise Less Than 2 Percent
After a one-year drop in Elmbrook School District taxes last year, December total bills will increase slightly. Aldermen Tuesday adopted their portion of the total bill, calling it a status quo budget for 2013.
After seeing a one-year drop in school taxes last year, Brookfield residents living in the Elmbrook School District will see their December property tax bills rise by about 1 percent.
City taxpayers in the Elmbrook district will pay a total of about $16.49 per $1,000 of assessed property value, while city taxpayers in the Waukesha School District will pay about $15.89 per $1,000 of assessed home value.
For Elmbrook taxpayers, that translates to a total tax increase of about $63 for the average priced home worth $335,000, City Finance Director Robert Scott said.
Those amounts may change slightly after the state's tax levy credit amounts are finalized.
Aldermen on Tuesday unanimously adopted a 2013 city budget that staff says maintains a high level of services.
But Mayor Steve Ponto and officials said they were concerned they will be able to continue that quality amid state-imposed property tax levy limits that hold increases to construction growth and debt service.
Future trend lines show revenues increasing far slower than expenditures, Scott said. Yet city residents have shown a desire for current service levels, he added, pointing to the results of a 2012 city survey.
Due largely to long-term planning, fiscal management and a large, although flat tax base, Brookfield has not had to lay off staff even though labor costs comprise a large chunk of the budget. Total full-time equivalent positions in the city have dropped from 356 in 2009 to 349 budgeted for 2013.
City general fund expenditures in 2013 will be about $38.5 million, up 0.99 percent over last year's $38.1 million. Total city spending, including utilities and all other funds, will be about $74.7 million, up about 2 percent over 2012's $73.2 million budget.
The city is collecting about 1 percent more in taxes for city government purposes: a tax levy of about $35.67 million, up from about $35.3 million.
The city's property tax rate will be $5.515 per $1,000 of assessed value, up about five cents of 1.19 percent over last year's rate. That's an increase of about $22 for the owner of a $335,000 home — the fourth lowest increase in 22 years, Scott said.
Elmbrook's tax rate is $9.3479 per $1,000, up less than half a percent. (See chart below)
Increased regional government cooperation is one key to maintaining quality services in rough economic times, Scott said.
"Brookfield continues to be a leader in regionalism," he said.
Among the cooperative ventures:
- Providing municipal water to the Village of Elm Grove
- Swapping of services between the Brookfield and New Berlin fire departments near their Greenfield Avenue border
- Working with five local governments to gain access to improved assessment software systems
- Partnering with the City of Wauwatosa for workplace safety programs
Expenditures budgeted for 2013 include upgrades to police squad car videos; $1.85 million for the second of a two-year storm water project near St. James and Bermuda Boulevard off Calhoun Road; $3.4 million for water mains; a Greenway Trail corridor project near Underwood Creek; and renovation of the library's parking lot.
|PROPERTY TAX RATES (per $1,000 of assessed home value)|
|City of Brookfield||$5.40||$5.45||$5.52||1.19%|
|State of WI||$0.15||$0.16||$0.15||-1.50%|
|Source: City of Brookfield Finance Department|