MADISON (WKOW) -- A proposed $490 million Dane County budget would raise property taxes on the average Madison homeowner by just under $10 per year.
In announcing the budget on Monday, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said the tax increase would be lowest since 2009.
Parisi says the proposed operating budget and a $29 million capital budget protect core services and include several important initiatives.
The proposed budget includes:
* An expansion to the county's Early Childhood Initiative, to include services at Leopold Elementary School for children from birth to age four. The current program extends to age three.
* A revamped facility for the medical examiner, to account for caseload, including requests from other counties to work on cold-case deaths.
* Streamlining court proceedings with impact on children in foster care, with a goal of reducing placements and adjudications from months to days.
* Creating six new slots for treatment through the county's drug court. Officials say heroin addiction is on the rise, and court-ordered treatment has reduced recidivism.
Parisi says the county's portion of a homeowner's property tax bill is 12 percent.
Wisconsin Taxpayer's Alliance executive director Todd Berry says the proposed budget increases the tax levy as much as allowable under state-imposed limits on property taxes. Berry says Dane County may have joined other municipalities by increasing the rate of borrowing to compensate for property tax limits, although Berry says county budget information released-to-date does not include enough specificity on borrowing to gauge any trend.
Berry also says the budget's tax burden on owners of the average home in communities outside Madison may be larger, because outlying communities rely more on county services.
Parisi says the property tax levy in his proposed budget is the lowest in twenty-two years.
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