Milton OKs 2.9 percent tax levy increase
MILTON—The Milton City Council Tuesday OK'd a 2014 city budget that includes a 2.85 percent tax levy increase.
For people with a $100,000 to $120,000 home, the tax increase will likely be in the $25 to $30 range, according to city estimates.
While the levy increased $78,400, the overall budget was up nearly $500,000.
City officials had pared down more than $350,000 in spending over the last several weeks to ready a balanced city budget, officials said.
The bulk of those cuts came from continued savings through a change to city employee insurance benefit plans that came late in 2012 and continued this year, and other capital expense cuts made throughout city departments.
Those cuts offset a jump in new city debt next year of about $80,000. The city is poised to start paying on $1.8 million it's borrowing to turn the former Dean Medical facility at 710 S. Janesville Street into a new police department and renovate the Milton Public Library, in the Shaw Municipal Building.
Another notable increase in the budget: a $580,000 cash payment from the city's capital budget to pay for the addition of a City Hall at the future police department.
The city also is increasing spending for the Innovation Express, a bus route the Janesville Transit System runs to transport UW-Whitewater students and plant workers to and from Janesville, Milton and Whitewater.
Milton has budgeted $27,500 for its share of Innovation Express ridership, nearly doubling the amount it paid last year.
The city views its busing partnership with JTS as a boon for a 400-student advanced manufacturing and training center that Blackhawk Technical College plans in a former ANGI manufacturing facility near downtown Milton, said Jerry Schuetz, city manager.
The city of Milton is expected to have talks with the JTS officials in December over potential changes to frequency and scheduling of Innovation Express routes in and out of Milton.