PdC common council approves 2020 budget, releases 2019 tax bill

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By Correne Martin

The Prairie du Chien Common Council approved the 2020 city budget during a special meeting Nov. 26. The city portion of taxes for Prairie du Chien taxpayers has gone down slightly from last year, by $22.14, on the standard $100,000 home. The whole tax bill for 2019 also reflects a decrease for most taxpayers.

The budgets came in previously for Crawford County, the Prairie du Chien School District and Southwest Technical College. While Southwest Tech’s budget also resulted in a decreased cost to its taxpayers, of $3.61 per $100,000 property for 2020, both the county and local school district bills went up some—affecting the final tax bill. The county has reported its budget will go up by $30.99 per $100,000, and the Prairie du Chien School District expects a $.94 increase per $100,000 in property, for its portion of taxes.

Factoring in all the credits—for the school, lottery, the state’s First Dollar Credit—and adding in garbage fees, city administration estimates Prairie du Chien citizens will see a decrease of $18.27 for a $100,000 home. For those owning a $150,000 home, the total taxes due would be $15.97 less than last year. 

This is according to the 2020 city budget report, which is available at city hall to view there or be printed and taken home. 

The city’s overall budget for the coming year totals $5,696,598.35. Surpluses from 2018 have been reinvested toward infrastructure and equipment purchases that would have otherwise required borrowing, and put into the city’s general fund account to provide insurance against future unexpected challenges.

City Administrator Chad Abram said the 2020 total budget includes about $85,000 less in balanced expenditures and revenue from the 2019 budget.

He added that the budget also includes a 2 percent increase in wages, across the board, along with a cost-saving change in the city’s health plan from the municipal consortium to the state health plan. The budget includes funds allocated to the Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce, Driftless Development (county organization) and PdC Main Street (downtown development group), in the amount of $10,000 apiece. Plus, $5,000 was donated toward the Ft. Crawford Museum and the SMRT Bus. 

“The majority of cuts this year were at city hall,” Abram said. “Other departments, though they didn’t get everything they wanted, saw an increase.”

Finally, Abram, City Clerk Tina Fuller, the finance committee and department heads were pleased to follow through with their plans to start a storm water emergency fund this year. They are getting the account started with $10,000 and hope to allocate to it every year. 

The primary revenue generator (48 percent) for the city of Prairie du Chien is the property tax levy. The levy in 2020 will represent a 1.97 percent increase. For reference, the levy in 2019 increased by 9.32 percent. 

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