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Off the Editor’s Desk 3-22-23

Not sufficient funds!

A year does not go by that officials of government bodies wrestle with money problems and they have more projects than the local property tax base can handle. State law caps property tax levy in Wisconsin. The only other way to increase that revenue is to get approval from the voters.

So, in St. Croix County there is countywide referendum that is asking voters to approve a three and a half million-dollar increase on property in St. Croix County to fund 24 more public safety positions. I fully support this endeavor to increase the number of sheriff’s deputies and other public safety positions. As I looked at the cost it looks like the referendum will cost me about a hundred dollars annually, an amount that I am glad to pay. I do not want it said in St. Croix County that we want to “Defund the Police.”

We have been told that St. Croix County is the fastest growing county in the state, and that revenue to support law enforcement has not been able to keep up with our growth. I have not heard any one coming out against this idea and urge every voter in St. Croix County to get behind this program.

But, this county public safety referendum is not the only referendum in St Croix County, and I will list what other tax increase that voters are asked to approve.

In the Village of Hammond, voters are being asked to approve a $250,000 yearly increase to fund street maintenance.

The School district of Hudson is asking for $29 million to pay for facility and ground improvements to E. P. Rock and North Elementary Schools and Hudson Middle School. Plus the district is also asking for another eight million each year for district operation, maintenance and staffing costs.

In Somerset, the school is asking for $22,900,000 for cost of a new school building and facility improvement project.

At Spring Valley, the school is asking for $500,000 for three years for non-recurring purposes for operational expenses. They are also asking for approval to spend $7.1 million to pay the cost of a school building and facility improvement project to build an outdoor athletic facility, track and field complex and football/co-curricular facility with spectator seating. Folks, those referendums total to something over 67 million dollars.

I am sure that come a year form now, we can also talk about other government bodies asking to over ride the tax limit.

Thanks for reading! Carlton

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