Brookfield’s village board on Dec. 14 unanimously passed both the 2010 budget and tax levy extension that will fund a good portion of that document.
The budget, which serves as the policy document for the village in 2010, will be reflected in the annual appropriation ordinance, which will be passed in January. The appropriation ordinance is the legal document that sets spending limits.
According to the final 2010 budget, the village has predicted general operating revenues will outpace expenditures by a razor thin margin of $10,270. That margin reflects personnel and other spending cuts the village has already made, including layoffs, wage freezes for administrative, public works and clerical employees; furlough days for non-union employees; and limited spending for such things as vehicle replacement and other big-ticket item purchases.
But the budget also contemplates zero-percent salary increases for police officers and firefighters, who are negotiating contracts with the village at this time.
“If it doesn’t happen, we’ll have to find a cut somewhere else,” said Assistant Village Manager Keith Sbiral, who also serves as the village’s treasurer. “Either we’ll have to cut the village budget or have a concession for that raise.”
Officials predict that property tax revenues amounting to $7,524,639 will be up slightly, by 4.3 percent, in 2010 compared with 2011. Overall general operating revenues – money that pays for day-to-day government expenditures like salaries and benefits – are expected to top out at $14,127,745.
Of that amount, over half – roughly $8 million – will go toward police and fire protection, an increase of 7.2 percent over 2009. The increase is not due to salary raises, but to increased pension contributions for police and fire in 2010, according to Brookfield Finance Director Doug Cooper.
The amount of taxes levied next year for general government operations will be $428,000 less than in 2009. That money will be going to increase the levies for fire protection and for police and fire pensions.
In order to pay the bills in 2010, the village board passed its property tax levy on Dec. 14. The revenue collected in 2010 will be for property taxes levied in 2009. The board approved extending the levy by 4.6 percent, and estimated collecting $9,317,413. Of that amount $2 million will go to fund the operation of the Brookfield Public Library, whose levy request is included with the village’s.
A non-home rule municipality like Brookfield is limited to extending the property tax levy to 5 percent or the rate of the consumer price index, whichever is less. For 2009 taxes, which are collected in 2010, the CPI is a minuscule 0.1 percent.
The village is asking for 4.62 percent to capture taxes from any new development or other property improvements done in the past year, which are not subject to the tax cap.
While the village may end up receiving less than the 4.62 percent it is asking for, Cooper said the village will be able to pay its bills in any case.
“There is some cushion in the 2010 budget to cover it,” said Cooper. “We’re expecting an increase of about $300,000. Half of that is $150,000, which we can cover.”
By Jan. 1, 2010 the village expects to have about $800,000 in its general operating reserve.