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Proposed 2021 Howard budget includes 3 percent tax levy hike

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

HOWARD – The village board got its first look Monday, Oct. 12, at Howard’s proposed 2021 budget, which includes about a 3 percent increase in the tax levy.

Village Administrator Paul Evert presented the first draft of next year’s budget showing an increase in the levy of $210,750, which would raise the mill rate for village purposes by 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

He said the overall proposed tax levy of $7,159,347 would have a corresponding mill rate of about $3.90 per $1,000.

The overall proposed levy includes $5,491,550 for the general fund and $1,667,797 for capital projects.

Based on the average value of a home in Howard being $226,530, Evert said next year’s village budget as proposed would result in an increase of $15.86 on the average annual property tax bill.

Evert said the proposed 2021 budget includes the following changes in the general fund:

• An increase for existing contracts that cover police services, garbage/recycling contract and rescue services of $90,300.

• A net increase in salaries/wages to employees of $41,900 while decreasing one full-time public works position.

• Increased benefits of $90,300 mostly related to health insurance costs.

• Decreasing the overall cost of supplies and other expenses by $40,400.

• An increased cost of garbage tonnage by $7,400.

• A decrease in fines and forfeiture revenue by $20,000.

• An increase in weights and measure revenue by $20,200 with a corresponding increase in contracted services for the same amount.

• Only minor changes in state aids with 2021 being the second year of the state’s biennial budget.

Evert said next year’s proposed budget will be discussed at the board’s Oct. 26 meeting, when general fund items could be reviewed, discussed and modified as needed, and discussions will begin on capital projects and/or enterprise funds.

The board is also scheduled to go over the budget Nov. 9, prior to holding a public hearing and then giving the budget final approval Nov. 23, after which tax bills would be mailed out in early December.

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