Residents' tax bills could more than double over time to pay for a proposed nine-figure sewer repair plan.
Last month, village officials were presented with three levels of sewer upgrades ranging in cost from . Village officials plan to phase in that work over the course of a 10-year capital improvement plan.
Using the least-expensive option, which would protect homes from 3.8 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, the village's financial consultant calculated what the household tax impact would be if the village issued $106 million in general obligation bonds over the course of 10 years.
The owner of a $300,000 house would gradually see their tax bill rise year after year, peaking out at a $426 increase in the ninth year and then slowly declining in following years.
Village taxes would raise by the following amounts each year per $1,000 of assessed value:Year Tax rate
Year Tax rate
2028 1.64 2013 0.84
2029 1.58 2014 1.02
2030 1.49 2015 1.23
2031 1.33 2016 1.55
2032 1.19 2017 1.65
2033 1.18 2018 1.81
2034 0.93 2019 1.98
2035 0.73 2020 2.12
2036 0.66 2021 2.23
2037 0.56 2022 2.19
2038 0.41 2023 2.21
2039 0.30 2024 2.14
2040 0.20 2025 1.99
2041 0.13 2026 1.90
2042 0.02 2027 1.75
Also keep in mind:
- Sewer and water rates would double in approximately 15 years.
- The preliminary tax increases would only cover the cost of the capital improvement plan — not any other increases in the overall village budget, or tax increases by other governmental entities serving Whitefish Bay.
While the village government is restricted from raising the tax levy any higher than the value of any net new construction, the state statutes also exempt principal and interest on general obligation debt from levy limit requirements.
The per-household tax impact could be reduced if the Village Board decides to charge user fees through a potential storm water utility. In addition to charging homeowners, a storm water utility would also charge non-profit entities — like schools, churches and community organizations — that do not pay taxes.
"What this will come down to is the Village Board having to balance the fundamental needs of the community with what you are comfortable with in realtionship to the cost and how those impacts will be distributed to the citizens," said Michael Harrigan of Ehlers and Associates.
Ehlers and Associates has not yet calculated the impact of the more expensive sewer repair plans presented to the board. Village Manager Patrick DeGrave said these preliminary numbers were presented to the board as a starting point for considering the level of sewer protection to move forward with.
"If the board feels comfortable that you can do this and more, we’ll run those numbers," he said.
Trustees will discuss this issue again, specifically how much of a tax hike is palatable and whether costs should be spread out through a storm water utility – at a public meeting on June 25 at 6 p.m.