MARINETTE— Property tax bills for the City of Marinette hit the mail in December, and according to the City Tax Levy resolution, recently approved during a special City Council meeting, only a slight increase of less than 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed property will greet residents as they cut open the envelopes. 

For a comparison, according to City of Marinette Treasurer & Finance Director Jackie Miller, from the 2017 to the 2018 tax year the rate increased $5.54 per $1,000 to cover the city’s 2019 budget.   

“The total tax levy with all the taxing jurisdictions was 73 cents increase per $50,000,” Miller said. “Per $1,000, you are looking at less than a 15-cent increase.” 

The new rate takes effect in the December tax bill with due dates for those bills starting in 2020, according to Miller. 

According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (WDOR), residents can pay their bills in installments or in one payment. Whether choosing installments or all at once, the first payments comes due at the end of January, but residents should confirm their due dates with whatever is printed on the bill. The City Code of Ordinances for Marinette states that a penalty of 0.5% per month will be imposed on all delinquent real estate taxes, personal property taxes, and special assessments.

Property tax is necessary to allow municipalities to raise the funds required to cover its operational costs as well the shared funds that assist in the operational costs of the county, the school district and the state.  

More specifically, for the City of Marinette, that burden comes to a total of just over $17 million ($17,011,010.84). That amount includes approximately $1.3 million to tax increment financing (TIF) districts; about $3.07 million as tax to Marinette County; roughly $566 thousand to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College district; just over $6 million to the Board of Education; and $5.9 million for the City of Marinette.

Mayor Steve Genisot acknowledged the efforts by members of the finance committee in keeping the rate increase low. 

“A lot of work went into to (this result),” Genisot said. “And thanks to Miss Miller and the finance committee that worked through quite a bit of (those calculations).”

In a related issue, and during the same meeting, the Council officially adopted the City of Marinette 2020 Budget. The city’s Finance and Insurance Committee approved a preliminary version of the budget Nov. 4, passing a  recommendation for the subsequent full approval to the City Council. 

The preliminary version first appeared in the EagleHerald on Nov. 6 with an additional copy for the public’s review posted at City Hall until Nov. 21.  City ordinances outline that the preliminary budget must be posted for a period of at least two weeks for public review and comment before the Council can vote for the final approval. 

After adding together anticipated revenues and fund balances for the city, minus the total expenditures for 2020, the city determined a tax levy of $5,970,177 would be required to cover operational costs for the coming year. Additionally, $1,308,092 would be needed for TIF districts.  

Just prior to the Council adopting the budget, a 15-minute public comment period was opened to receive any existing input, support or objections from area residents.  The  council received no comments.   

The board unanimously approved both the 2020 budget and the 2019 tax levy.