Greendale Approves $9.2 Million Tax Levy, $14.5 Million Budget

The Village of Greendale approved a 1.2 percent increase to the tax levy. What's that going to look like on the tax bills?

Correction: The board approved a $14.5 million budget and $9.2 million tax levy.

The Greendale Board of Trustees approved a final $14.5 million budget with a tax levy increase of 1.2 percent ($9.2 million tax levy), while also using almost $350,000 of the fund balance.

The board approved the budget 4-1 with Trustee Carl Genz voting against it. Trustees Jim Birmingham and Allen Sikorski were not present at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Genz wanted to get the tax levy increase to zero. He proposed eliminating $70,000 from the road repair budget and using $15,000 for road repairs instead of reconstruction. He also proposed cutting $35,000 from the IT fund and $10,000 out of the tree-planting fund.

The other Trustees disagreed and thought the money was needed to continue providing quality core services.

Since the year 2002 the village’s tax levy has increased an average of 1.6%. The village will also collect additional property tax revenue from its three tax incremental financing districts that include Southridge Mall, Boston Store and Berkshire Greendale Senior Living. Money collected from TIF districts does not go to support general village operations, but instead pays down debt the village took on in creating the districts.

The village also received more than budgeted revenue, primarily due Southridge Mall building permit revenue.

The Greendale School District decreased its tax levy. County of Milwaukee,Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District have all increased their tax levy from 4 percent to 6 percent, said Michaels. 

Budget Impact on Homeowners 

Village Manager Todd Michaels said homeowners' tax bills are expected to go up less than 1 percent, with the 2013 budget costing the average homeowner $21.81 more than last year. He also said at the meeting that about 190 property owners will actually see a decrease.

Including the revisions in taxes and fees, the 2013 Budget projects the total tax bill for a home assessed at $201,373 to be $1,676.59. This is a $13.40 (0.81 percent) increase for the same home last year. The budget represents a monthly cost of $139.72/month to cover all village service costs other than water and sewer utilities.

The budget also calls for passing onto homeowners the cost of residential curbside recycling at $31.08 a year. The village expects recycling costs to stay the same or decrease under changes to the recycling program being considered.

The Greendale School District decreased its tax levy.

Manager Michaels said when you take into account all the taxing bodies the bills will go down overall. 

Savings for rainy day

The 2013 budget utilizes $349,677 from the fund balance to help pay for unexpected expenses as well as reduce some surplus funding.

In comparison, the village anticipated using $348,822 in fund balance in 2012, yet officials now believe they will use far less, only $31,000. This decrease is primarily due to a delay in hiring new staff implemented during 2012.

It’s estimated the year-end 2013 fund balance as budgeted would be $4.1 million.

Budget Impact on Employees

In 2011 most village employees did receive a wage increase. This year’s budget includes 1 percent inflationary increases in wages and 12 percent health insurance co-pay for village employees.

According to Michaels' memo, if the wage and benefit goals are not reached through collective bargaining, the village will likely have to consider other options during 2013 including a hiring freeze, furloughs or other cost saving measures.

The budget also includes $20,000 in additional funding for training department heads in efficiency and cost saving methods. The management training guarantees savings greater than the cost of the program, according to the Michaels memo.

Check out previous years' tax levies:

Year Levy %Inc 2002 7,921,390 2003 7,921,390 0% 2004 8,153,486 2.93% 2005 8,316,555 2% 2006


2% 2007


2% 2008 8,825,592 2% 2009 9,002,500 2% 2010 9,125,543 1,37% 2011 9,100,543 -0.27% 2012 9,209,750 1.20%
Jason Patzfahl December 07, 2012 at 01:49 PM
All I am asking is that a thorough study be completed of discharging "treated" wastewater into the Root River Parkway be done before allowing this deal to move forward. I would rather Waukesha construct the infrastructure necessary to return this wastewater within pipes instead of down the Root River, which is a protected nature preserve for nearly the last 100 years. Yes, poop is natural, but there has to be a better, maybe not cheaper, but much less harmful way to send treated poop-water back than through a river that passes behind dozens of homes in Greendale via a protected State Park where children play and people jog and ride bikes on a daily basis. If you have such a fecal fetish, why not annex some of your property to Waukesha to use as a vehicle for its "treated wastewater?"
CowDung December 07, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Jason: The study is being done because of increased flow volumes, not because there's going to be poop in the water. Jason--Please educate yourself and schedule a tour of the Waukesha WWTP. It really is a nice facility. Their effluent has to meet environmental guidelines for water quality. It is constantly tested and monitored and they will get fined (and shut down) if they are putting poop in the river.
CowDung December 07, 2012 at 03:18 PM
...and you aren't just asking that a thorough study be done. You have already come to the erroneous conclusion that wastewater treatment plants will discharge poop water into public waterways, and want people to harass Sanfilippo because he didn't arrive at that same conclusion.
Jason Patzfahl December 07, 2012 at 06:30 PM
We know from the past that in cases of increased flow volumes due to either more customers or in most cases, rainwater, raw sewage will go down these waterways and make their way into Lake Michigan right in front of the plant. So why not bypass that possibility and ask Waukesha to look elsewhere for water, stop expanding or build the proper infrastructure so that "treated wastewater" or the occasional raw sewage doesn't flow through the Root River. Or like I said before, you can always annex some of your property so it flows through your back yard. But when your kids hit the wiffle ball into the stream I would probably not retrieve it... ... And why Sanfellippo? Because he was my County Supervisor who sat on the Board of Parks.
CowDung December 07, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Do you even have a clue as to how many water customers the Waukesha WWTP is sized to serve? What basis are you using to determine that this water project will cause them to exceed their design loading? Has Waukesha EVER released raw sewage into waterways? Waukesha doesn't have the same situation as Milwaukee and its flawed combined sewer system. Increased rainfalls aren't going to cause the same problems that we see with MMSD and the deep tunnel. There is no reason to believe that raw sewage will be released into the Root River because of this water deal.


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