WAUSAU — Homeowners in Wausau will see a 3.47 percent property tax increase in 2019, up from the 2.5 percent increase estimate released in October, according to city documents.
That means taxpayers can expect a tax hike in Wausau of $34.11 for a $100,000 home, according to city documents. The previous estimate, released Oct. 1, pegged the increase at $26.51 for a $100,000 home. In part, the increase is due to a projected $4 million decrease in assessed property values for the upcoming year, according to City Finance Director MaryAnne Groat.
In October, Groat told Wausau Pilot and Review the decline is being blamed on a change in personal property tax assessed to businesses for tools, machinery and equipment. Beginning with tax bills issued in December, businesses classified as commercial by the DOR will no longer pay tax on machinery and tools, Groat said. This change eliminated $28,254,600 of property value in Wausau. The state is replacing the lost value with a frozen personal property state aid.
The October estimate was revised after the city received its share of state transportation aids, which were slightly less than anticipated.
To limit the impact to taxpayers, city leaders pared down supplemental budget requests by more than 69 percent. Among the changes: The finance committee voted to postpone hiring a position in the city attorney’s office until July 1, cut a marketing request, cut a grant to the EEC and cut the City Hall security plan with the caveat that $50,000 from a projected end of year surplus would be used to fortify the city clerk/customer service office.
Residents can weigh in on the proposed 2019 budget during a public hearing at Tuesday’s city council meeting slated for 6 p.m. at City Hall, 407 Grant St., Wausau.