Thursday, August 20, 2020

Racine retirees' health benefits to be on Nov. 3 ballot

From The Journal

Christina Lieffring

RACINE — In addition to weighing in on the next President of the United State and U.S. Representative for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, Racine residents will be asked this fall whether they’d accept a 6.49% increase on the tax levy to cover the cost of healthcare benefits for city retirees.
For 2020, the city collected a total of $53,820,230 in property taxes. Because the city had zero net new construction in 2020 the most it would be able to raise its levy is 0.15% or $80,730.35.
Going into 2021, interim City Administrator Kathleen Fischer estimated the city is facing a $4.5 to $5.5 million budget shortfall. The referendum would ask taxpayers whether they are willing to contribute an additional $3.5 million to the 2021 levy and then an additional $1 million each year thereafter.
The additional funds would only cover a portion of retiree healthcare expenses. In 2020, the city will spend $21 million on healthcare for 750 retirees and 450 active employees, not including the water and wastewater utilities. The active employees accounted for about $11.5 million of that total and the retirees accounted for about $9.5 million.
McMayor Butterball should do the right thing and pay his fair share of property taxes.  C'mon, Butterball, let a real estate professional reassess your property's value instead of having a crony do it.  Oink, oink.

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