County tax rate expected to drop again next year

Increase in equalized values helping
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Shawano County property owners should see their tax rates go down again next year under the county’s proposed 2019 budget.

Officials are projecting a tax rate of $5.08 per $1,000 of equalized value, a drop of 11 cents from this year’s rate of $5.19 per $1,000.

This year’s rate was also lower than last year’s $5.29 per $1,000.

County property tax rates vary by municipality, however, because those rates are determined by assessed values and not equalized value.

According to the county, the drop in taxes comes in spite of a 6 percent increase in health insurance costs of about $252,000 and rising costs for other contracted services.

The county’s projected levy for 2018 is $15.8 million, an increase of about $131,000 from this year’s $15.68 million.

That levy will be spread out among taxpayers a little more in 2019 thanks to a 3 percent increase in equalized value, which is rising from $3 million to about $3.1 million.

“We had a few new businesses come through, so new construction was up,” Finance Director Nitta Charnon said.

The increase in new construction of about 1.3 percent, or $194,645, helped boost the county’s equalized value for the second year in a row.

“I think it’s a better state of the economy,” Charnon said. “If you look at the unemployment in Shawano, we’re at an all-time low, and people are spending money so that really helps, along with new businesses that have come in.”

Still, Charnon said, it has been a challenge staying within state-imposed levy limits.

“With insurance rising all the time and vendor prices going up, it’s hard for us to stay under that levy, but we’ve done a pretty darn good job of it,” she said. “Other counties are pulling money out of their general fund a lot more than we’re having to. We’re only pulling about $300,000 out of our general fund this year to help support the operations of the county. Other counties we’ve heard are pulling $700,000 or higher. I think the county’s doing a really good job fiscally.”

The county will hold a public hearing and consider the budget at 3 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Shawano County Courthouse, 311 N. Main St., Shawano.