Suamico objects to county discontinuing property tax collections
By Kevin Boneske
SUAMICO – The village board wants the Brown County treasurer’s office to continue collecting first installment property tax payments.
Board members decided March 15 to table action on approving a tax collection agreement, in which the county would prepare the tax bills and mail them out, but no longer collect the first installment.
Village Administrator Alex Kaker said the deadline to approve the agreement was extended to the end of April, so the board could wait until next month to see if the county treasurer subsequently decides to continue to collect first installments, after indicating he wants municipalities to start doing that, as they could be required under state law.
Under the agreement, the village would collect both real property taxes, including special charges and special assessments, and personal property taxes as spelled out in state law.
However, for property owners making two payments, the agreement also states the county would collect the second installment as well as delinquent real property taxes.
The board March 1 approved a resolution opposing the county treasurer seeking to require municipalities collect the first installment or full payment of property taxes for 2021 payable in 2022.
Trustee Sky Van Rossum said municipalities would incur additional costs taking over the first collection of property taxes, and county residents are currently paying for this service.
“The only difference with this agreement, and putting this through, is the additional cost that every resident in Brown County is going to have to endure,” he said. “It’s creating a duplication of services.”
If the village would begin collecting its own property taxes, a memo from Finance Director Jessica Legois stated additional costs not factored into the 2021 budget could include:
• Purchasing LandNav software ($1,500).
• Setting up a duplicate receipting station and cash drawer.
• Staff training time on LandNav software.
• Additional banking fees for higher transaction numbers.
Trustee Dan Roddan said he was disappointed County Treasurer Paul Zeller, who was invited to appear at the board’s March 15 meeting, didn’t respond to the village’s request for him to attend.
“It’s an arbitrary decision on his behalf (to discontinue first installment property tax collections), and it’s frustrating that he didn’t get any input from anyone but himself,” he said.
According the county board’s meeting minutes, Supervisor John Van Dyke requested the county corporation counsel to prepare a resolution, similar to the resolutions already adopted by a number county municipalities, to request the county treasurer continue the current practice of collecting first installment property taxes for all municipalities desiring that service.
Van Dyke’s request was referred to the county’s Administration Committee, which has its next meeting scheduled April 1.
In other action, the village board approved a bid of $9,000 from Fred Kolkmann Tennis & Sport Surfaces, LLC, for engineering work related to two pickleball courts and two tennis courts at Idlewild Park.
The board also passed a resolution to cover the cost of the design and construction administration of the courts with excess funds the village received from the Lambeau Field stadium sales tax, based on the courts enhancing and continuing positive economic development in the community.
Recreation Director Leah Hackmaster said Idlewild Park currently has two permanent tennis courts which are very weathered, and the project would add two permanent pickleball courts in the area.
Hackmaster said funding for the courts was approved in the village’s 2021 budget.