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County tax rate barely budges

MONROE — By using general funds to offset the initial levy of over $20.7 million, the Green County Board of Supervisors approved the 2019 budget with a penny less than in the 2018 tax rate.

During the meeting Tuesday, the 26 supervisors present approved six resolutions in relation to the budget and passed the tax rate of $5.52 per $1,000 of equalized home value, which means the owner of a $100,000 house would pay $552 in county taxes. 

Resolution No. 5 lowered the levy total by using the total sales tax gathered by the county in 2017, over $2.8 million. The funds from that 0.5 percent tax and $1.48 million taken from the general fund decreased the levy to just over $16.48 million, keeping the net levy below the state maximum requirement. 

However, the budget does include $790,000 for maintenance and operation costs at Pleasant View Nursing Home. The referendum asking voters whether the county could exceed the state-imposed limit passed by a margin of nearly 3,000 votes.

Some items are not conditional to the state cap, like debt service, bridge and culvert repairs or library payments. The budget includes over $2.08 million in bond repayments. The amount of debt increases by over $413,000 in the 2019 budget from the projected 2018 amount.

Resolution No. 2 levies more than $50,000 on all municipalities within the county except the cities of Monroe and Brodhead and the villages of Browntown, Brooklyn and New Glarus for county aid to construct bridges. Resolution No. 3 levied more than $460,000 against all municipalities for payment to the Green County Library Board. Resolution No. 4 levied almost $39,000 on all municipalities except for the City of Monroe for payment to the Green County Humane Society. 

County Finance Director Julie Sachs explained Resolution No. 1 after questions arose over the sum of $128 being levied on countywide municipalities. The cost was due to mental health detention of Green County residents in other counties, which are legally allowed to charge through the state.

The budget includes an allocation of $200,000 to the county highway department as a result of the $20 wheel tax, which began in Green County on Aug. 1. 

The 2018 budget had a tax rate of $5.53 per $1,000 of equalized value, meaning the county contribution for homeowners lowers, if only slightly. Supervisors passed the budget following a public hearing held during the board’s monthly meeting. No members of the public addressed the board with questions or concerns.

Supervisors Sherri Fiduccia, Calvin Wickline, Barb Krattinger and Aaron Withee were absent.