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City tax bills on the way

YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW - The city's 2011 budget includes the costs for borrowing up to $3.5 million for capital improvement projects and purchases. Among the lengthy list of items for using the possible borrowing the next three years includes a new Lake Geneva Fire Department ladder truck and repairs to roads in the city. - The city's undesignated reserve fund is $1.98 million, as of Dec. 31, 2009. - Residential property values comprise approximately 66 percent of total property values for 2010, while commercial and manufacturing property comprises about 32 and 1 percent of total equalized property values, respectively.
December 08, 2010 | 09:03 AM
They'll appear in your mailbox a little earlier this year. But, don't expect that arrival to bring good news.

Lake Geneva property owners are expected to receive their 2010 tax bills at the beginning of next week and with it comes an overall tax rate increase of 2.2 percent to $21.59 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The 2009 tax rate was $21.12.

That 2010 figure includes slight drops in the state to $0.18 per $1,000 of assessed value and county to $4.48 for Lake Geneva residents. The city's tax rate remained the same at $5.51 per $1,000 of assessed value, while Gateway Technical College increased slightly to $1.51.

The overall tax increase mainly comes from the Lake Geneva Area (Joint 1), which rose 6.8 percent to $6.88, a 44-cent increase per $1,000 of assessed value. Lake Geneva-Genoa City (Badger) Union High School rose 1.3 percent to $3.03, but that includes the school tax credit, which dropped the rate by $1.74.

The $21.59 figure also does not include the lottery credit and first dollar credit, both of which are higher this year than in the past.

A property owner with a home assessed at the city average of $216,000 will pay a tax bill of $4,496.18. That includes the lottery and first dollar credit. According to City Administrator Dennis Jordan's executive budget summary, equalized values in the city were up slightly.

From 2009 to 2010, overall values in the city rose half a percent, while residential values increased 1.3 percent. Commercial properties decreased by 1.5 percent and manufacturing values increased 1.68 percent. The commercial and manufacturing values were lowered due to the way the Department of Revenue calculated the Tax Incremental Financing District values in 2010.

On a home assessed at the average city level of $216,000, the city's portion of the bill is $1,190. The following is a breakdown for the city taxes.

n $355 — Police: Encompasses all the expenditures for police operations including the salary and benefits of police officers, command staff, dispatchers and community service officers.

n $188 — General government: Includes expenditures for the mayor, council, municipal court, city clerk, city administrator and city assessor, the cost of funding elections, health insurance and property insurance.

n $156— Debt repayment: This accounts for all the debt for the general fund for major capital projects and equipment.

n $152 — Miscellaneous: Includes the City Hall building, Building and Zoning Department, emergency management, traffic control, leisure activities, conservation and development.

- $126 — Fire services: This is for all the expenditures of the Lake Geneva Fire Department, including prevention activities and fire suppression.

- $112 — Streets: All expenses for street and storm sewer repair, leaf pickup, snow plowing, sidewalk repair and related services.

- $63 — Sanitation and recycling: Provides for the funds necessary for garbage pickup and recycling services.

- $35 — Administration and finance: This accounts for the salary, benefits and operation costs of the city administrator and finance department.

- $2 — Parks: All expenses related to the care and maintenance of the park and trail system.

- $1.50 — Replacement fund: This fund is for the replacement of city police vehicles.

Lake Geneva Comptroller Peg Pollitt said the city's tax bills were sent to the county for printing earlier than they had been in the past several years. She said the county prints them in order of receipt. The bills were printed by Walworth County late last week and arrived at City Hall on Tuesday. It will take a couple days to stuff the bills and other information in an envelope to be sent out in the mail.

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