The Bright Side
With city property tax rates having been frozen by the State of Wisconsin for the last 6 years, why have property taxes gone up at a rate that is higher than inflation?
There are two reasons:
1. There is a small adjustment that cities can make for growth (which the city did in 2018), and there are also taxes that can be added to the property tax which are exempt from the tax rate freeze. One of those is debt payment, which is not only exempt, but is required to be added to the city taxes. Although smaller than other cities of similar size, the City of Lake Geneva uses debt as a form of revolving credit, as a normal consumer might. The city pays the debt down for a few years, and then it borrows again and refinances the debt so the debt service payment stays about the same and never paid off. This effectively adds an extra million dollars to the city’s yearly revenue.
2. Another tax that is exempt from the freeze is the Capital Equipment Replacement fund. A few years back the city council decided to set up a Capital Equipment Replacement fund. It sounded like a good idea, and it was a good idea, but when they voted for it, the public was not told that $677,990 would be added to the property tax rolls to fund it. The next exempt category is called the Nonmajor Gov’t Fund, which adds another $621,656 to the city tax bill. These three items increase city taxes by over 30%. There are other issues increasing property taxes. 2. In the past years, the city has not reassessed everyone every year, and although there is an extra cost to reassessing every year, as long as inflation continues, the city collects more tax revenue if it reassesses every year than if it doesn’t. Yearly reassessment is being used to take tax money to get more tax money.
Darien Cornfest runs from Friday, September 6th, to Sunday, September 8th at Darien West Park.
The festival will offer a carnival, live entertainment, fireworks, a softball tournament, a volleyball tournament, a horseshoe tournament, bingo, parade, raffles and much more. It will also have a craft fair so locals can show off their talents and display their works for purchase. The ground-pounding Tri-County Pullers will fire up their massive engines and test them on the big dirt track. It should be a great weekend for the whole family, and a fun end to the summer season.