Budget Caps Property Tax Increase at $2.13, Enhances Public Safety, Highways, Human Services
Calling it a budget that protects property taxpayers while improving public safety, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk signed the 2009 county budget today without any vetoes. The budget, passed by the county board Monday evening, holds down spending according to Falk’s self-created standard of not increasing the budget above the rate of growth and inflation. For 2009, that means a county budget that will only bump up taxes on the average home by $2.13.
“Having a budget that caps property taxes is even more important during this time when people’s pockets are already being pinched and families are trying harder to make ends meet,” Falk said. “It’s tough to get much nowadays for two bucks, but in this budget those extra couple dollars mean enhanced public safety, comprehensive human services, better roads, and protecting our quality of life.”
Falk noted that three out of every four dollars in the budget are dedicated to public safety, like the Sheriff’s Department and 911 Center, and human services.
The $493-million spending plan includes additional staff and technological upgrades for the Dane County Public Safety Communications Center and $12-million to begin construction of a new countywide emergency radio network. The total cost of that significant public safety enhancement linking responders across the county will total $30-million making it the second largest capital project in Dane County’s history. Included in the technological improvements is implementation of and training on Police Priority Dispatch. This new program utilizes nationally recognized response standards to determine the priority of calls, ensuring uniform police responses.
The budget also includes over $3.5 million for the reconstruction of a number of county roads and intersections, one of the highest capital budget investments for highways in county history.
“I worked hard with Chair McDonell and the county board on a budget that sticks to the basics: public safety, safe roads, the best human services in the state, and better protections for our lakes for all to enjoy,” Falk said.
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