Expera Reassessment Causes Rhinelander Budget Re-do

Nov 25, 2014

Credit Rhinelander city hall

A last minute change in property values caused the Rhinelander city council to do some fast work to put out a 2015 budget.

The council Monday night approved a budget but more adjustments need to be made. Finance committee chair Mark Pelletier says they came into the meeting keeping the levy the same as last year. A recent reassessment of the Expera paper mill property by the state caused a scramble to balance the budget...

"....(Expera's) valuation dropped from a share of the city from four percent to one percent. We received a $16 million dollar drop in valuation, pretty much last minute. (If left as proposed the tax levy) would have been an eight percent increase...."

 Pelletier says the late numbers to the city caused a scramble by the council to come up with a balanced budget Monday night..

".....I made the motion that we would find an additional $100,000 in cuts within the next month or so. We already found ($15,000)  of that right away..."

That drop along with lower property values in general found the city out of balance between revenues and expenditures. Pelletier says they got the levy increase down to about 3 percent. Pelletier says they cut $100,000  they had designated to go to the general fund. The council passed the budget with a pledge to cut more to balance the budget. The levy, including the Tax Incremental Finance Districts is $6.3 million.  As is, revenues are about $8.8 million and expenditures about$ 8.9 million. Mayor Dick Johns says they can find some money to cut fairly easily, but other cuts will need to be made to balance the budget.