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Howard board approves 2% tax levy increase

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

HOWARD – After holding a public hearing Monday, Nov. 22, on the 2022 budget, the Village Board approved a tax levy of $7,343,221, an increase of $143,874, or 2%, from the previous year.

The levy includes $5,614,420 for the general fund, up 2.24%, and $1,728,801 for capital projects, an increase of 1.23%, with no dollars being levied again for debt service.

Director of Administrative Services Chris Haltom said the overall levy increase was limited under state law to $143,874, which is based on the percentage of net new construction in Howard being 2.339%.

Tax rate calculations

Haltom said the tax rate for village purposes will be approximately $3.98 per $1,000 of assessed property value, an increase of about 6 cents per $1,000 from the previous year.

“That’s mainly due to the fact that some of the growth is within our TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) Districts,” he said. “The average home (valued at $228,000) would be about $13 (more in property taxes) on that increase.”

Haltom said the village received information on the tax rates Howard property owners will be assessed from Brown County ($4.26), Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (83 cents) and the Howard-Suamico School District (HSSD) ($10.06).

He said the combined gross tax rate comes to around $19.13 per $1,000 and, when subtracting $1.54 for state school credits, the net tax rate is $17.59 per $1,000, an increase of about 50 cents (2.95%), with most of the increase coming from HSSD, which for Howard property owners has an tax rate increase for assessed value of around 45.5 cents.

HSSD voters in April approved a $98 million facilities improvement referendum.

Though HSSD officials promoted the referendum as having a decrease in the tax rate, Haltom said the district’s calculations used equalized value, not assessed value, and the referendum’s impact on assessed value differs in Howard and Suamico.

General fund

Howard’s 2022 general fund budget includes $8,365,100 in expenditures, an increase of $271,250, or 3.35%.

By category, the expenditures include more than $3.3 million for public safety, $3.163 million for public works, around $1.3 million for general government and $544,100 for community development.

With nearly $2.7 million budgeted next year for wages and salaries, up 5.02%, Haltom said employees will get a 3% cost-of-living increase with another possible 2% step increase based on merit.

He said health insurance will decrease approximately $1,000 per participating full-time employee with the village part of the state employees’ trust fund program, which will not be assessing Howard a surcharge in 2022. 

Haltom said the village’s contracts, which include police services with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, are increasing by $122,600, while the Howard Fire Department will add two paid, on-premise employees overnight for $35,500.

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