The $150.67 million 2021 county budget was submitted to the County Board Tuesday.
The budget calls for a property tax levy of $51.39 million, a 1.56 percent increase from the 2020 budget.
With a 6.9 percent increase in property values, that translates to a property tax rate of $4.96 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, down from last year’s rate of $5.22.
“The 2021 budget reflects the fifth consecutive year the property tax rate has gone down or will go down,” County Administrator Adam Payne told the board.
“The proposed budget reflects tremendous teamwork among County Board supervisors and staff to be fiscally responsible and continue to provide quality programs and services,” Payne stated in a press release accompanying the budget.
The full board will review the budget at their next meeting Oct. 27, with final action on the spending plan set for the Nov. 3 meeting.
The budget introduction followed the presentation of the county’s annual financial report from CliftonLarsonAllen financial consultants.
“It’s all good news in terms of the results of your audit,” CLA’s Bryan Grunewald told the board. “There’s a lot of positive information in the financial results of the county. You’re doing things the right way.”
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County Clerk Jon Dolson updated the board on preparations for the upcoming Nov. 3 general election.
He said his office is working with city, village and town clerks to ensure that the election goes off without a hitch and voters remain safe and secure.
“We have 28 municipal clerks (who) have two elections already under their belts during COVID. They’re all very confident it’s going to go very well,” Dolson said.
“Our (local) clerks need a pat on the back because they are all making sure all their electors feel safe,” Dolson told the board.
One concern has been finding enough poll workers, but Dolson said most municipalities have been able to meet that need. “The clerks do a great job at keeping that number up there.”
Several municipalities have utilized grant money available for elections to install drop boxes for absentee ballots, Dolson noted.
“Three municipalities stepped up and purchased additional tabulating machines so they can count absentee ballots,” on Election Day, Dolson added.
He also noted that in-person pre-voting began Tuesday, with a larger turnout than in past years.
“There were lines in all three cities and the town of Wilson and town of Sheboygan,” Dolson reported. “It’s interesting that people were coming (to vote) today to avoid lines,” on Election Day.
“Some clerks think they’re going to have 50 to 60 percent of their voters taken care of before the polls open,” Nov. 3, Dolson added.