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Slight levy increase, budget decrease in 2013 for Glendale

Nov. 13, 2012

Glendale - The city of Glendale will spend slightly less in 2013 than in 2012, and levy slightly more.

The Common Council on Monday approved a 2013 budget of approximately $18.8 million and a levy of about $12.2 million - down 0.5 percent and up 0.2 percent, respectively.

City officials expect residential property values to decrease by about 9 percent, which would mean the average Glendale resident with property assessed at $161,434 would pay $1,183 - about $150 less than last year. The city tax bill would be $1,300 should the average assessed property value remain the same as last year, at $177,400.

The reduced 2013 tax rate is in part the result of a previous assessment error by the state Department of Revenue, City Administrator Richard Maslowski said. The error will also lower Glendale's share of levies for other local taxing jurisdictions like Milwaukee Area Technical College and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, among others, but could also have a negative impact on debt repayment for city tax incremental financing districts.

To comply with state-mandated levy limits, the budget was largely balanced with reduced labor costs, Maslowski said. In addition to limited wage freezes, reduced benefits, and increased employee contributions for fringe benefits, 7.5 positions will remain vacant throughout the city in 2013: 1.5 in City Hall; one in zoning and planning; one in public works; three in the police department; and one court worker.

Following earlier council instructions, Maslowski kept new user or service fees out of the budget, though water fees will increase slightly to meet Department of Natural Resources and infrastructure requirements. However, Maslowski has said the city may need to revisit the subject of increased fees if the state continues to restrict municipal levies.

Officials said the staff vacancies and tightened budget won't affect the services Glendale residents receive from the city on a daily basis. Mayor Jerome Tepper congratulated city department heads and Maslowski for working to keep expenses, and as a result, taxes down.

"Because of their diligence in making every penny count we have a budget this year that shows a decrease," Tepper said.

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