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Brown County 2021 proposed budget includes ‘lowest property tax rate in 40 years’

Brown County Executive says the 2021 mill rate will decrease by 20 cents
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 4:05 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - “Ultimately our tax rate will be the lowest it’s been in 40 years,” said Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach.

During his 2021 budget proposal Thursday afternoon, Streckenbach said homeowners will see a decrease in their property tax rate next year, despite the pandemic.

Streckenbach said it’s the result of a plan put in place back in 2018 that continues to move the county in the right direction.

“So the plan is working as outlined,” said Streckenbach.

In 2018, Streckenbach implemented the ‘debt reduction tax relief infrastructure plan’ and he said it continues to work.

“Our debt will be the lowest it’s been in a long time. We’ll be right around $64 million. So, again, it continues to drop as planned and outlined, Keep in mind we were at around $140 million, roughly, back when this started,” said Streckenbach."

Streckenbach said the proposed budget, around $360 million, includes roughly $13 million for roads and infrastructure.

“We will be seeing the conclusion and the opening of many different strategies that we had in the budget such as the new expo hall, the community treatment centers expansion for the one-stop crisis management, the new medical examiner’s office and the expansion to the jail pod will be completed in 2021,” said Streckenbach.

The proposal also includes money for a second clinician in the Human Services Department that responds with law enforcement officials on emergency mental health calls. Streckenbach said the results they’ve seen in the last year with the first clinician warrants a second one.

“The idea behind this is, you know, we we’ve recognized that by sending a social worker or a clinician with law enforcement to a mental health call, we are able to provide the assistance and direction and resources to that individual (that they need) rather than bringing them into the public safety realm like jail,” said Streckenbach. “It essentially helps defuse the situation, and provides the individual who was going through a crisis with some resources or remedies to de escalate the situation.”

For Brown County homeowners, the mill rate will decrease by 20 cents, which means on a home valued at $200,000, that’s a decrease of about $40.

“What we promised back then, when we did the plan, is that we will work continue every year to see property tax relief and so we’re doing our budgeting (in a way) to continue with a promise to the public,” said Streckenbach.

Streckenbach said he plans to carry that momentum into future budgets despite the pandemic, but he said he’s going to need the public’s help to do that by stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“Having a robust economy and having it operating is probably the single most important aspect for us to be able to manage our numbers,” said Streckenbach. “If that continues or if that has a major shut down or something happens, then there’s gonna be a little bit more concern going into 2022 budget.”

The Brown County Board of Supervisors will hold its budget meeting on October 28 at the Resch Center at 9:00 a.m.

You can view Executive Streckenbach’s 2021 budget proposal online at: https://www.browncountywi.gov/government/county-executive/general-information/countybudget/.

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