Residents Face a Possible 2.32% City Tax Increase

Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima calls on Finance Committee "to do a better job of providing tax relief for our families and for our future" over the next six weeks.

City taxes could increase by 2.32 percent if the Waukesha Common Council approves the proposed 2013 budget as presented.

Total city spending is increasing by 2.02 percent under the proposed budget, despite about $1.5 million in cuts already made – including a deputy fire chief and a firefighter.

“As a new city administrator whose first day on the job for the City of Waukesha was Sept. 10, 2012, it was impossible to have the kind of fiscal impact on the budget that more time would have allowed,” wrote City Administrator Ed Henschel in his letter of transmittal to the Common Council. “In spite of that, you will find on the one hand some fairly bold recommended changes and on the other hand a status quo in some operations and service levels.”

Total taxes in the tentative budget are increasing from $51.5 million in 2012 to  $52.6 million in 2013. For a home worth $200,000, the increase would result in a $52.60 tax increase if assessed property values remain the same.




% Change







Tax Rate





Impact on $200K Home




However, Henschel told the Finance Committee he is “confident that number will come down significantly” as the group of aldermen review the budget in the next two months. Henschel expects the taxes to decrease when the budget is adopted Nov. 20.

Mayor Jeff Scrima said in prepared statement that he wants to see the Common Council decrease spending from the proposed budget.

“Waukesha families are experiencing an uncertain economy and the burden of heavier water bills,” Scrima said. “The school district reduced their tax levy by 1.07 percent and the county tax levy increased by 0.79 percent. Compare that to the city's proposal of a 2.32 percent tax levy increase.

“Thankfully the finance committee has six weeks to do a better job of providing tax relief for our families and for our future."

The following major cuts are in the proposed budget:

City Expenses Reduced From Budget

1 percent wage increase vs. 1.5 percent in 2012


Unfunding Engineering Dept. position/delay filling Planning Department position


Health insurance fund balance/modified health benefits


Restructure city's print shop operations


Eliminate general fund contribution to BID but provide in-kind support


Elections budget reduction (off-year and no planned recall elections)


Energy savings from installation of street lights


Eliminate deputy fire chief, firefighter and cut significant amount of overtime


Federal forfeiture funds for police capital purchases


Reduce Prairie Home Cemetery subsidy


Reduce parking utility subsidy


Delay purchase of hot box and asphalt grinder


Reduce IT infrastructure and TV 25


Increased Revenues in 2012 Budget

Increased fines and forfeitures




The following is the budget schedule through the budget’s adoption on Nov. 20:

  • 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24; Finance Committee Budget Review
  • 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25; Finance Committee Budget Review
  • 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31; Finance Committee Budget Review
  • 6:30 p.m. Nov. 1; Finance Committee Budget Review
  • 6:30 p.m. Nov. 7; Final Finance Committee budget review/recommendations
  • 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15; Common Council budget review
  • 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20; Public hearing on budget and final adoption


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