Months in the making, the 2018 Waukesha County budget, with a
total tax levy of $103,422,375 was officially adopted by the
Finance Committee Wednesday morning.
was able to begin drafting the proposed budget alongside County
Executive Paul Farrow in a collaborative process. The biggest
change in the new budget is a $250,000 amendment that was approved
by all Finance Committee members. A quarter of a million dollars
will be moved from the Other Revenue category into the
appropriated General Fund Balance so that a hedge is added in case
interest rates do not continue to increase.
amendments proposed by county supervisors did not make it into
next year’s budget. The first, a proposal from Jennifer Grant,
suggested an increase of $50,000 to the Sheriff’s Department
Jail program for 10 months of funding for a new correctional
officer. The action was defeated with a 3-3 vote. The second
proposed amendment from Ted Wysocki also dealt with the
Sheriff’s Department and sought an increase of $100,000 for the
funding of correctional officer salary and benefits. It was also
There is a
1.52 percent ($1,605,648) increase in the total county tax levy
from last year’s budget. The total county tax levy is comprised
of two parts, the General Tax Levy and the Federated Library Tax
Levy. The tax levy capital projects budget, $1,747,000, also
remains unchanged when compared to last year’s numbers.
County tax rate will decrease 2.23 percent from 2017. The dollar
amount per thousand dollars of home value will be $1.95 compared
to last year’s $1.99. The owner of a home worth $250,000 would
pay $488 in taxes, and a home worth $100,000 would have $190 in
An update on
the county’s general fund balance was also provided by Director
of Administration Norm Cummings. The fund balance will be at
$35,315,199 for 2018, which is 17.3 percent of the $204,435,971
total expenditures for the year. The county maintains an
unrestricted fund balance to provide necessary working capital and
to avoid cash flow interruptions and short-term borrowing. The
unrestricted fund balance also helps to fund daily operations and
maintain the county’s AAA bond rating. The money can help in
case of an emergency, such as the 2008 stock market crash.
Ideally, the fund balance should hover around 15 to 16 percent of
the total budgeted expenditures.
County Board is schedule to take action on the proposed budget at