Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Bauman unveils 2002 city budget

Mayor Sue Bauman presented her 2002 Executive Operating budget Tuesday, highlighting increases in general funds, a property tax levy and property taxes.
Bauman said next year’s budget looks into Madison’s future.

The 2002 budget represents a 3 percent increase in total general fund expenditures and an increase of less than 5 percent in property taxes on the average home.

Bauman said she was pleased with the final draft of the budget and its numbers.

“The funding represents excellent production working with competing demands and limited resources,” she said.

The new budget ensures a continuation of existing services, expansion of others and full funding of the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center with a room tax. Essentially, the room tax freed up $1.1 million in the city’s general fund.

While numbers may be confusing, Bauman emphasized that without the Storm Water Utility, now paid on water bills instead of through general funds, the average property tax may have increased 6.18 percent instead of less than 5 percent.

Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said the accounting changes helped in maintaining a lower property tax.

“Shifting the Storm Water Utility to a line on the water bills left more breathing room in the general funds budget,” he said.

Bauman asked city agencies to make supplemental requests for programs and staff that exceeded the target of 100 percent of the 2001 allocation.

Consequently, these supplemental requests totaled more than $4 million.

Bauman said many difficult decisions were made in developing the budget in terms of limited resources, but the ones made were necessary.

“These are things we will continue to do and will start doing so Madison continues to be a safe, healthy place to work and play,” she said.

Bauman also mentioned the addition of a full year of operating costs for the West District police station, 10 months of operating costs for the new South District police station, two police officers, partially funded by a federal COPS grant, and a promotion of one police officer to detective.

Bauman said she feels taxpayers will be pleased with the 2002 budget as well.

“Taxpayers should feel fairly pleased, as [the budget] balances the goals of the city without a property tax burden,” she said.

Verveer said he agrees the budget targets areas needing most attention.

“The budget definitely had emphasis on areas where the city has been falling behind, such as parks and street maintenance,” he said.

The budget also includes an increase in parking fees downtown, including meters, city-owned lots and parking ramps, which will affect anyone parking in the city.

Although she said she wished she could have provided more funding for the parks division and additional staff to the Madison Police Department and Madison Fire Department, Bauman said she was generally pleased with the budget.
“This might be a 2002 budget, but it sets the tone for 2003 and beyond,” she said.

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