Editor's Note: This letter to the community came from Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas' newsletter.
Last month, I introduced my 2012 Executive Budget to the Waukesha County Board of Supervisors which freezes the County portion of the property tax bill. In order to freeze the County portion of your tax bill, under the proposed budget, Waukesha County will reduce the operating budget by 1.4% and personnel costs by 2%. Seeking partnerships between departments, other governments and the private sector to implement efficiencies and ultimately save tax dollars has been key to Waukesha County’s strong fiscal health.
In many ways, some of the positive changes that we’re seeing other local governments now make, are changes that Waukesha County made long ago. For instance, the caps on levy increases related to new construction growth, which the state is now requiring of local governments, is something that we have focused on for years.
The proposed budget maintains investments in roads and buildings to preserve their safety and functionality, while anticipating and planning for future growth. By maintaining infrastructure, Waukesha County will help retain, grow and attract businesses while continuing to provide a high-quality of life for residents. In an economic downturn, there is a tendency for some in government to cut back on maintenance or eliminate upgrades on buildings and roads. However, in Waukesha County we keep up with repairs and do not push-off routine maintenance into future years.
We operate our County like a business. When we invest in a road or a building project, we put a minimum of 20% down, we receive the lowest interest rate available because of our AAA/aaa bond rating and we pay off the project in ten years or less.
We pay our bills on time, we balance our budgets and we respect the Waukesha County taxpayer. We can feel confident moving forward that Waukesha County is on rock solid footing.
Dan Vrakas, Waukesha County Executive.