Greendale Village Budget Overview

As the village begins the budget process for 2013, questions are asked and answered about the proposed budget.

A Patch reader had a really good question about the Village of Greendale budget.

Am I missing something here? Why are taxes going up?

We are saving $185k in benefits, $442k in capital improvements and $20k from the recycling center or $647k total. We are adding (according to the list) $105k. Something doesn't add up.

In fact, in the budget proposal is down 1.01% or $142k from 2012. Why are taxes going up? -- J. B. Schmidt 

The answer is primarily due to the fund balance the village is recommending to maintain for 2013.

The 2013 proposed village budget of $13,938,024 is down one percent from 2012. However, the proposed budget also calls for an increase of 1.2 percent in the tax levy, from $9.1 to $9.2 million.

The increase in the tax levy, the total amount the village anticipates collecting from taxpayers, is primarily due to less budgeted use of fund balance, according to Village Manager Todd Michaels.

The goal for the 2013 Budget is to use the minimum amount of fund balance necessary to maintain the core services residents expect, according to Michaels. The fund balance is made up of funds that carried over from one year to the next. Fund balance serves a number of different purposes: for corporate reserves, for budget stabilization and for future purchases of large pieces of equipment, Michaels explained.

The village could decide to use up its fund balance, however, maintaining a fund balance eases the bumps in the tax levy from one year to the next, Michaels said.

The estimated year-end 2013 fund balance as proposed would be $4.7 million, roughly 34 percent of expenditures. That amount is less than last year’s fund balance, Michaels said.

The 2013 budget was set up to maintain existing services with only a "minimal" tax increase.

The proposed tax levy of $9.2 million, up roughly $109,000, will result an estimated $.06 or .87% increase in the tax rate, from $7.72 to $7.78, per $1,000 of assessed value. As of right now, the tax rate is estimated. Final assessment values for the village are not yet in although the tax rate will be within pennies of what the village is estimating, Michaels said.

Next Tuesday, the Village Board Committee of the Whole will review additional portions of the budget, including police and fire, public works, equipment and recycling funds, in addition to other funds. The entire recommended budget is on the village's website. http://www.greendale.org/.

2013 Budget Impact to Homeowners Comparision

2012 Budget

2013 Budget


% Change

Average home assessed value





Village tax rate per $1,000





Village taxes paid


$ 1,567.56

$ 13.45


Curbside recycling





Stormwater utility fee











Ave. monthly cost for village services





Mike W October 27, 2012 at 05:53 PM
So the village is recommending to tax the residents, to put the money into "fund balance" or reserves. The question not asked nor answered yet: How much is currently in the fund balance of each fund the Village has in the budget and is his necessary? Could we have a decrease in taxes for a year and maintain the fund balance. Also, what would happen if the fund balance is not "dipped into" and instead, the village board makes some cuts?
Jason Patzfahl October 28, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I'm willing to pay an extra $1.12 per month to maintain our clean streets, our leaf collection, our fire and police services, but if we are looking for cuts within the Village of Greendale I have a couple of recommendations: 1) The position of Village Manager costs residents about $80,000 per year and I think we could live without that high-priced, paper-pusher position sucking up funds. 2) We saved $ by making teachers and public utility workers contribute more towards benefits and retirement and freezing salaries (despite having great results in the classroom and excellent public services) so why not ask the police and fire departments to sacrifice as well? Seems only fair.
Danny Noonan October 28, 2012 at 06:40 PM
The Village budget is relatively insignificant compared bigger entities such as the school district, MMSD, MATC, and Milwaukee County. For example, the school district's budget is nearly 300% greater. Also, a "village" is governed by Wis. Stat. 61, therefore there is no mayor (like a city), so a Village Manager serves a larger role and thus warrants a school superintendent-like salary. Finally, fund balance is critical for any governmental entity that may borrow money as it will result in a better bond rating/lower interest rates.
John Doe October 29, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Try $124,000
John Goodsee October 30, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Here is the thing: We need the Village Manager. His work has been very good since the last one who resigned without warning or much of a notice and feel off the face of the earth. What we need though is a board that is willing to do the hard work that most boards are. The Village President and Village Manager seem to be a good team and without them, our Village would be still stuck in about 2001. Has anyone ever thought of cutting the pay of the Trustee's. Just pay the Village President. If they are sincere about their work, they won't mind giving the salary of over 5,000 each back to the taxpayers. In fact, why don't they donate it back?


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