Horicon city budget passed

November 25, 2018

HORICON — The Horicon City Council unanimously approved its 2019 municipal budget of $3.8 million this week. Due to an error by the state, property owners are facing a one-time jump on their tax bill.

City Clerk-Treasurer Kristin Jacobson said the Wisconsin Department of Revenue didn’t include the new John Deere expansion in the city’s new tax increment financing district calculations.

In order to compensate, the state is allowing a one-time adjustment to the city’s equalized values. That means this year, the equalized value is calculated lower due to the over-inflation of last year’s number. Taxpayers are making up the difference and will face a $2.16 spike in the $11.89 mill rate.

Mayor Jim Grigg he was surprised to find out what the state was going to do to correct their mistake.

“It put the council and the city taxpayers in a bad situation; a lot of people are concerned about the increase in their taxes. The state never said ‘I’m sorry’ or gave any excuses,” he said. “We thought that since the huge city of Horicon had no clout with the state, maybe John Deere would, but even after they contacted them, there was no action from the state at all. So we just move on.”

Jacobsen added, “I have a list of phone numbers and names of people I spoke with and when people come in to pay their taxes I will tell them, ’These are the people I talked to. Feel free to call them and voice your displeasure.”

Only one resident spoke out against the tax increase during Tuesday’s public hearing. Michael Beekman said to the council, “You have the power to do your job to support the people of Horicon. Make that attempt.”

The 2019 city budget is up approximately $100,000 and the $2.3 million levy increased 1.4 percent over last year. To compute the city tax rate, multiply the home’s value in thousands by the mill rate ($11.89) to compute the city taxes being paid.

Mayor Grigg said to help maintain a balanced budget and offset the tax burden, the city will defer major projects like road reconstruction until 2020.

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