The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors officially held their Public Hearing on the 2018 fiscal year operating budget to hear concerns from residents on issues related to the budget. The board then officially adopted the budget by unanimous consent.
The budget calls for a proposed tax rate for urban areas at 7.14026 which is higher than last year’s 6.77095% per $1,000 of taxable valuation. That is an increase of .36931%. For rural areas, the rate is 12.64657% which is a .56072% increase from last years 12.08585%.
The total projected expenditures for the county in 2017-18 is $15,638,050. That figure is actually lower than the current operating budget and that of fiscal year 2015-16. The total projected revenue for the county is expected to be $39,469,341.
There were concerned citizens in the gallery who were unhappy with the proposed property tax increase. Doug Palmer went before the board to voice his opinion on the increase.
The supervisors went on to explain that some of the reasons for the tax increase had to do with higher costs to repair bridges, roads, and county infrastructure. Chairman Bill Jensvold stated that the county is trying to save money in these areas by having the county employees do the work. Bridges in the county were one example. Now the county is replacing old bridges with box culverts and is doing the work in-house, saving thousands of dollars to the taxpayers.
Jensvold also stated that the new jail was a necessity in order to avoid a continual high price tag to ship inmates to other counties for incarceration.
The new budget will go into effect on July 1st.