RIVER FALLS, Wis. — River Falls’ $91 million 2019-2020 all-funds budget was adopted Nov. 26 with a tax levy of $6.8 million which includes four new city positions.
The city operates with a two-year budgeting plan and no new changes were made to the 2020 budget and levy which was proposed in 2018.
Two positions in public safety and two positions in public works are a part of the adopted levy.
For a $180,000 River Falls home, the property taxes for the city portion is going up about $29, but the overall bill is increasing slightly under those numbers as Pierce County reduced its levy. For St. Croix County, the bill will be higher at $41 for the city portion.
The lottery tax credit which is applied to everyone who has a primary residence within River Falls increased $22 since last year.
Currently River Falls tax dollars are distributed to the following institutions: 40% River Falls school district, 30% city, 20% county, 7% TIDs, 3% Chippewa Valley Technical College.
The TID amount has been increasing over time as TIDs have matured and expanded with more revenue, according to River Falls Assistant City Administrator Judy Bergstrom.
The tax levy has also been increasing each year, coinciding with the increase in assessed and equalized value, Bergstrom added. The equalized value in River Falls increased by 18 million from 2018 for a total of $1.7 billion in 2019 for both residential and commercial property values.
The anticipated levy increase is reduced because both Pierce and St. Croix counties continue to grow, Pierce County at a 1.9% rate since last year and St. Croix County at a 3.3% rate.
In the fiscal year 2019 budget review, it was noted that the ambulance fund is expected to end 2019 with a greater deficit than budgeted while licenses and permits will exceed budgeted revenues. Water and wastewater funds also have planned surpluses for the two-year period.