Boots & Sabers

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0733, 09 Nov 20

West Bend Budget Public Hearing Tonight

They want more money. Per the Washington County Insider.

November 8, 2020 – West Bend, WI – There is a public hearing Monday night, November 9, 2020 as the West Bend common council votes to pass a .08 cent increase in the tax rate which would bring the proposed rate from $7.85 to $7.93.
Pay raises are a large part of the budget increase.
In June 2020 two employees received $12,000 pay increases. Another employee received a $5,000 pay raise to jump to $100,814, and two others had a $4,000+ salary increase to climb to the mid-$90,000 mark. Members of the common council confirmed those employees who received large salary increases will also be part of the cross-the-board 2-percent staff salary increase in 2020.
A request was put in several weeks ago for the 2018-2019 employee payscale. That amount has still yet to be shared.
Right now with the way the 2021 budget is written, we will be imposing a tax increase on our constituents. While some may argue it is a small increase I want everyone to understand I am unequivocally opposed to an increase due to what is happening right now in our community and the impacts we are seeing as a result of COVID.
Layoffs, mandatory furloughs, reduced hours and business closures are common place right now in our community.
Washington County is forcing the county government staff to take 5 mandatory furlough days this year as a cost cutting measure.
Several large Wisconsin companies reduced its staff in 2020 to cut cost, including the #7 largest employer in the state Kohl’s who laid off 15% of its local WI corporate headquarters staff in September.
Within the last year the Wisconsin government ordered non-essential businesses to close their doors for an extended period of time during safer at home and just this week ordered capacity limits of 25% to already struggling businesses.
Data released in late September by the Dept. of Workforce Development showed 713,508 unemployment insurance claims are STILL being processed, that number represents over 98,000 Wisconsinites, and some of those claims date all the way back to March.
Wisconsin unemployment rate has essentially doubled from this time last year.  Currently WI has 6.2% unemployment rate, it was only 3.4% at this time last year.
I do not think it is appropriate for the West Bend common council to raise taxes on our citizens during this time.  Many citizens are trying to sustain their homes and families with less revenue this year.  I think it is unjust for us to turn around and vote to charge more in taxes when with that tax increase the average citizen will not see or feel an increase in services.  It is no secret that a large sum of money will need to go to rising insurance costs for city employees.
Hearing is at 6:30. Show up and be heard.

0733, 09 November 2020


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