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Hales Corners referendum: Property tax increase to retain and hire police, firefighters

If village residents approve the referendum, the 2024 tax levy, and each year going forward, would increase about $321.62 annually on the average home valued at $289,000.
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Posted at 9:06 PM, Jan 05, 2023

HALES CORNERS, Wis. — A new referendum question will ask Hales Corners residents for a property tax increase to fund the cost to retain and hire police officers and firefighters.

The Hales Corners Village Board recently approved asking taxpayers for a property tax increase for public safety services. According to a news release, if village residents approve the referendum, the 2024 tax levy, and each year going forward, would increase by $743,680 to cover the cost to hire and retain emergency medical services personnel. This translates to an increase of about $321.62 annually on the average home valued at $289,000.

"The Village does not have the tax levy capacity under these limits to increase property taxes to pay for the operations and staffing of existing municipal government nor any capacity to provide for two additional positions for the Fire Department firefighter/emergency services or fund a vacant police officer position," the village said in a news release. "The additional funding will allow the Village to retain its current police personnel as well as hire and retain EMS personnel which will ensure quick response and high-quality care."

Village President Daniel Besson said the village cannot maintain police and fire without residents' help.

“Status quo isn’t working. We cannot continue to maintain the levels of service (of police and fire) without the help from the residents. Together, we can move forward with confidence by enhancing the services through this referendum," Besson said.

The referendum question will appear on the Tuesday, April 4, 2023 ballot as followed:

“Under state law, the increase in the levy of the Village of Hales Corners for the tax to be imposed for the next fiscal year, 2024, is limited to 0.25% (based upon the Village’s best estimate) which results in a levy of $5,915,133. Shall the Village of Hales Corners be allowed to exceed this limit and increase the levy for the next fiscal year, 2024, for the purpose of retaining Police Department personnel and hiring and retaining firefighter emergency medical services personnel, by a total of 12.6%, which results in a levy of $6,658,813, and on an ongoing basis, include the increase of $743,680 for each fiscal year thereafter?”

You can find further information on the village's website.

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