City property taxes rise 4 percent in proposed budget

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Property tax collections would rise by $1.4 million, or 3.9 percent, to $37.7 million under the city budget proposed for 2018.

Overall spending would hit $73.2 million, an increase of nearly 2 percent compared to the current budget.

Some of the major cost drivers are higher debt service, planned wage increases for city employees and higher workers’ compensation coverage payments, according to City Manager Mark Rohloff.

In anticipation of more retirements as the city’s workforce ages, the budget includes a set-aside of $427,3000 to cover payouts of accrued vacation and sick leave.

Police costs would rise to $13.2 million, up 2.6 percent from the 2017 budget, in part because of expenditures on new vehicles and on Internal Affairs monitoring software.

The city will benefit from increased state aid in several categories, including $120,000 in additional street maintenance funds and an extra $1110,000 in payments for municipal services. Rohloff said the latter increase likely reflected new state building at UW Oshkosh and for the Department of Corrections.

But “this program remains funded at less than 40 percent of actual costs,” he said.

The city has three more budget workshops scheduled before the budget goes to the Common Council for approval in November.

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Miles Maguire

Miles Maguire is the author of Advanced Reporting: Essential Skills for 21st Century Journalism. He was the founding editor of the Oshkosh Community News Network, a nonprofit online news organization whose work was cited as a notable innovation in journalism in the 2005 Knight-Batten Awards. Send questions, comments and suggestions to miles.maguire@yahoo.com.

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