Town Tax Levy Frozen for Third Year
The Town says it will maintain services while not collecting more property taxes for 2012, and plans to be debt-free by 2013.
The Town of Brookfield will freeze its tax levy for the third consecutive year at $3,620,382.
The freeze — coupled with cuts in the Waukesha and Elmbrook school district tax levies — means town residents likely will see a reduction in their total property tax bill when it's mailed in mid-December.
The tax rate for the town portion of residents' tax bill is estimated to drop a penny to $3.56 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The town is waiting for its final manufacturing tax base figure from the state before it can finalize the rate.
"We're very optimistic for the future," Town Administrator Rick Czopp said. "I don't see gloom and doom. We constantly say bigger is not better. We're smaller, we're nimble."
The Town Board unanimously approved the 2012 budget Tuesday night, and electors approved the frozen levy.
Town spending for general, capital and debt service funds will decrease about 11 percent to $5.58 million from $6.25 million. That does not include spending in the town utility for sewer and water — that budget will be adopted next month.
But Czopp said the town will not seek an increase in sewer or water rates.
General fund spending is budgeted to decrease less than 1 percent from $4,664,495 in 2011 to $4,627,960 in 2012.
The town's budget includes funds to reconstruct Brookfield Road and purchase two police vehicles and equipment for the public works and parks departments.
Czopp said the town will make its final debt payment of $842,232 in 2012 and will be debt-free in 2013. Rather than issuing new bond debt in the future, the town likely will budget dollars toward a capital improvement fund to pay for snow plow trucks and police cars, he said.
"The town sees a very bright financial future and expects to maintain its current levels of municipal services for many years to come," he said.
The town saw its state revenue sharing aid drop about 25 percent and its highway aids cut about 10 percent, he said. But the town is saving pension costs, with all employees except for police and fire contributing 5.8 percent of their salary to pensions, under the state's budget repair bill.