Marathon County has released its recommended 2022 county budget, below the central Wisconsin average, and will present it to the Human Resources, Finance and Property Committee today, Oct. 12, the county announced today.

The tax rate would be $4.55, which is $1.48 (25 percent) below the 2021 average rate of other counties in central Wisconsin and $0.59 (11.5 percent) below the 2021 statewide median rate of $5.14, Leonhard said in a news release.

The $190 million budget recommended by Lance Leonhard, administrator, maintains essential services while investing in people, infrastructure and opportunities for innovation.

“I’m proud of our team’s efforts in delivering a fiscally responsible plan that simultaneously addresses the community’s priorities set forth by the County Board and ensures that our organization functions as efficiently
and effectively as possible,” Leonhard said.

While the tax rate has decreased 16 cents over two years, the average homeowner would see a minor increase in the county portion of his or her property tax bill because of the rise in their property value and a onetime levy adjustment authorized by the Department of Revenue. The adjustment reduces the need to borrow, decreasing the cost of government for Marathon County taxpayers.

The budget also provides for:

• A significant increase in public safety funding to open a new 911 dispatch channel and provide an additional legal secretary in the District Attorney’s Office
• A capital improvement program that fully funds necessary routine and end-of-life maintenance for county buildings and bolsters IT infrastructure
• Improvements to roads and bridges
• A 3 percent allocation for compensation increases in the county’s pay for performance system to ensure the county can retain and attract the most skilled and talented employees

Following the administrator’s presentation, the committee will have the opportunity to make modifications before approving a budget to advance to the county board for further consideration. The Marathon County Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget on Nov. 4, ultimately
approving the 2022 annual budget and the 2022 Capital Improvement Program on Nov. 9.

Residents can view the complete budget message here and are encouraged to share feedback with their Marathon County Board member.