Clintonville seeks state’s help with city finances
Resolutions will be sent to lawmakers
By Bert Lehman
The Clintonville City Council spent part of its reorganizational meeting on April 16 approving resolutions that encourage the state of Wisconsin to provide more financial help to the city as well as other communities in the state.
Clintonville City Administrator Sharon Eveland was not present at the meeting because the interviews for Clintonville police chief were taking place at the same time, but she provided council members with a memo dated April 11 that contained her thoughts on the four resolutions.
Prior to discussing and voting on the resolutions, Clintonville Mayor Richard Beggs told the council: “I’d like to clarify here, I am not supporting, nor is Sharon [Eveland] supporting the governor. We’re supporting the ideas that are in the governor’s budget, which would help us if they get implemented. … I think the four items we’re going to talk about here, every one of them, or any of them, would be of help to us financially speaking, so I recommend that you consider approving these resolutions.”
All four resolutions were passed by a vote of 9-0.
The resolutions do not bind state officials to act in any manner. Rather, the resolutions only share the city of Clintonville’s opinion on the matters.
In one of the resolutions, the city of Clintonville “calls on the legislature to pass a state budget retaining the levy limit law changes recommended by the Governor, including a 2% floor for levy limits.”
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is recommending in his proposed state budget that municipalities be allowed to increase their annual levies over the prior year by the greater of the percentage change in equalized values due to net new construction or 2%.
Currently, levy limits are based on the community’s percentage increase in property value caused by new construction.
Clintonville’s percentage change in equalized value due to net new construction has been less than 2% in recent years.
Eveland stated in her memo, “This resolution is supportive of proposed levy limit changes that would allow more flexibility for municipalities to adjust their levies, including setting a minimum 2% annual increase and elimination of levy reductions for service fees.”
The city council also approved a resolution that “calls on the legislature to pass a state budget retaining the 2% increase in shared revenue funding.”
In his proposed state budget, Evers is recommending “each municipality would receive in 2020 a 2 percent increase over the amount it received in 2019.”
A resolution regarding the state’s transportation funding was also approved by the city council.
Evers proposed in his state budget increasing the gas tax by 8 cents, restoring annual gas tax indexing, and increasing various other fees to address a shortfall in the state’s transportation fund to improve the state’s infrastructure.
According to the governor, these increases would allow for more funds to be available for General Transportation Aids, Transit Operation Aids, Transit Capital Assistance, the Local Roads Improvement Program, and Railroad Crossing and Repair Assistance.
Although not specifically stating it supports the increase in the gas tax and other various fees, the city passed a resolution that “calls on the legislature to pass a state budget fixing the long-term shortfall in transportation funding by enacting an adequate, equitable, and sustainable transportation funding system; and retaining the funding increases to local transportation assistance programs proposed by Governor Evers.”
The city council also approved a resolution that “calls on the legislature to close the dark store and Walgreens loopholes and stop the tax shift to homeowners and small businesses.”