by Heather Asiyanbi
racinecountyeye@gmail.com

Sturtevant trustees unanimously approved the 2014 village budget, which includes an increase in the levy but lower taxes overall for residents.

The 2014 budget as proposed is $3,997,739; about a 4.25 percent increase over the 2013 budget, which was $3,834,512. About half of that amount – two percent – is an increase in the village’s property tax levy.

Sturtevant property owners will pay $8.61 per $1,000 of assessed value. In 2013, that amount was $8.205.

Overall, though, village residents will see a decrease in their total tax bill because of lower levies from other taxing bodies like the school district and the county.

Village President Steve Jansen told Racine County Eye that the board continues to work hard to keep taxes low, but lower property assessments coupled with the rising costs of goods and services means having to raise taxes.

“The cost of running the village goes up and there are still a lot of variables, like the cost of fuel,” he said. “We raised the levy 2 percent, following the state levy limits, because we had so much growth last year. This allows us to keep the budget status quo without anything dramatic negatively impacting our taxpayers.”

Trustee Chris Wright pointed out that Sturtevant had more growth last year than any single municipality in the county; at about $10 million.

“Between commercial construction like the Cree expansion and Kerry adding on to its building with some new homes mixed in there, too, Sturtevant accounts for 20 percent of new construction,” he said.

In the end, all that new construction – including the opening of United Natural Foods next spring – will mean good things for taxpayers.

“Most of that growth is in the TID so it’s a good thing now but will be a great thing once the TID closes in three years and all those properties start paying into the levy,” Jansen added.

A TID is a tax incremental financing district, a special growth tool that allows municipalities to borrow money to establish the district. Then, as buildings go up and companies move in, the property tax generated is used to pay off the loan. Once the debt is paid, the taxes are applied to the general tax levy, which can mean significant savings for residential property owners.

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