2015 Budget

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2015 Budget Update 

October 14, 2014: Budget Presentation

City Manager Mark Freitag presented the proposed 2015 budget to the City Council. During that presentation,the City Council asked questions and asked for follow-up responses related to items in the proposed 2015 budget.

October 21, 2014: Budget Follow-Up Presentation

The City Council reconvened on October 21, 2014 to further discuss the City Manager’s proposed 2015 budget
and make  any changes. At that time, the City Council were presented with staff's follow-up responses from items
discussed at the first meeting. By vote of the City Council, the following changes were made to the City Manager's proposed 2015 budget:
  • Increase funding for the Janesville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau by $40,000. The revenue sharing of room taxes collected to provide funding to JACVB will increase from 47.5% to 52.5%. This is a reduction of General Fund room tax revenue of $40,000.
  • Increase the bartender license fee from $50 to $60. This fee change will generate $6,400 in revenue.
  • Increase ambulance fees by 20% above peer communities’ average. These fee changes will generate $5,000 in revenue.
  • Establish a boat launch fee of $6 per day or $30 per year to utilize City boat launches. The revenue generated by this fee will support improvements to the City’s boat launches. The first year of the program will have a net cost of $100.
  • Increase community development permit fees by $0.02 per square foot of residential and commercial construction. Additionally, the minimum permit fee will increase from $50 to $60. These fee changes will generate $38,914 in revenue.
  • Include a 1% cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Department of Public Work employees at a cost of $52,000.
  • Provide a professional development stipend of $500 per City Councilmember at a cost of $3,500.
  • Reduce Police Department overtime by $5,000.
  • Increase the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin contract by $10,000 for stray cat care.
  • Increase the cash flow at the City’s golf courses by reducing the General Fund subsidy by $10,000.
  • Increase the cash flow at the Oak Hill Cemetery by reducing the General Fund subsidy by $1,000. 

October 23, 2014: 2015-2019 Strategic Plan / Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) Discussion

City Manager Mark Freitag and staff presented the City's 2015-2019 Strategic Plan and proposed Capital Improvements Plan. The City Council had the opportunity to discuss what year projects should take place as part of the five-year program.

More information on the 2015-2019 Strategic Plan can be found at the following website: www.ci.janesville.wi.us/strategicplan

November 10, 2014: First Budget Public Hearing

Finance Director Tim Allen presented the City Council with updates to the proposed 2015 budget since the last budget study session. Those updates related to General Fund debt service payments, the State and Federal Grants budget, and the Department of Public Works employees cost of living adjustment (COLA). Following the public hearing where individuals had the opportunity to share comments regarding the budget, the City Council made the following changes to the budget:
  • Eliminate $52,000 in the General Fund for a 1% cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Department of Public Works employees since this cost was determined to have been already budgeted.
  • Reduce funding for weed spraying by $1,258.
  • Increase the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin contract by an additional $60,000 to fully-fund stray cat care in 2015.

November 24, 2014: Second Budget Public Hearing and Adoption

Finance Director Tim Allen presented the City Council with updates to the proposed 2015 budget since the first public hearing. Those updates related to the Department of Public Works employees cost of living adjustment (COLA), pet licensing, Janesville-Milton-Whitewater (JMW) Innovation Express bus service . Following the public hearing where individuals had the opportunity to share comments regarding the budget, the City Council made the following changes to the budget:

  • Increase funding for the Janesville-Milton-Whitewater (JMW) Innovation Express bus service by $15,960. 
  • Reduce community development permit fee revenue by $7,740 based on the approved fee schedule.
  • Eliminate a previously-approved professional development stipend of $500 per City Councilmember at a savings of $3,500.
  • Include $1,000 for promotional expenses for Sustainable Janesville Committee (SJC) Energy Fair.

Upon closing of the public hearing, the City Council adopted the 2015 budget - inclusive of all previous changes - by a 6-1 vote.

2015  Budget Information & Budget Steps 

Step One: Begin with a Budget

The process is similar to how you must budget your paycheck to pay for rent, food and clothing; you need to know where your money is coming from (revenues) and where it is going (expenditures). First, City of Janesville staff prepare a budget that details how much money (revenue) is needed to cover planned expenditures from the City's General Fund. The City’s proposed General Fund (excluding the Library) budget includes $44.3 million to pay for 2015 General Fund expenses. The General Fund is the City's primary operating fund. Activities such as police and fire protection, park maintenance, recreation, snow removal, street maintenance, and general administration are supported by the General Fund. The Hedberg Public Library's 2015 budgeted total expenditures are $4.0 million. Your property taxes and non-property tax revenues are used to cover expenses from these funds.

Property taxes are the City's and Library's largest source of revenue, used to pay for library and city-provided services such as snow removal and police protection. More than half (65 percent) of the costs to administer City government and library services are paid for through your property taxes. The remaining non-property tax revenue comes from financial aid from the State of Wisconsin, user fees, permit fees, non-property taxes, interest, rents or fines.
 
Some services such as transit receive subsidies from the General Fund that only partially cover the cost of their activities. Thus, funding comes only partially from taxes; the rest comes from user fees. For example, additional revenue to fund the City's transit service comes from bus fares. You pay directly for how much bus service you use. The Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Utilities are funded through utility charges and do not receive any assistance from property taxes - you are charged on your utility bill according to how much service you use.
 
Step Two: Calculate the "Property Tax Levy"

After determining how much revenue Janesville will receive from the state and other non-property tax sources, we must make up the difference with property taxes. The property tax levy is the total amount of revenue needed from property taxes to cover General Fund and Library expenditures. Of the $48.3 million that the City of Janesville government and Library has budgeted to pay for year 2015 expenses, $31.6 million will be raised through the property tax levy, $16.0 million will be raised through non-property tax revenues, and the approximate remaining $680,000 is covered by applied fund balance.
 
Step Three: Calculate the Property Tax Rate

To figure out the property tax rate you must know two things: the tax levy (just explained) and the City's total assessed value. Assessed value is the value of all Janesville properties for tax purposes and is determined by the City Assessor. The City's total estimated assessed value of real and personal property is $3.9 billion. Here is how to calculate the tax rate:

 

Tax levy (including TIF)/ Assessed value = property tax rate, or
2015 property tax rate = $32,638,055 / $3,913,366,250 = 0.0083401.

Tax rates are reported per $1,000 of assessed property value; therefore, the local tax rate is $8.34.

Step Four: Calculate Your Tax Bill

To calculate the General City portion of your tax bill, a tax rate of $8.34 means that for every $1,000 of property you own you are taxed $8.34 for city government services. For example, a Janesville resident who owns an average assessed home of $120,100 will pay $1,002 in 2015 (($120,100/1,000) x $8.34 = $1,000) for municipal services such as snow removal and parks. But it will not educate your children or provide judicial services. Those services are paid for from the Janesville School District and Rock County portions of your tax bill.

 

Your Tax Bill: Five Different Jurisdictions

Your property tax bill adds together the tax levy of five different taxing jurisdictions. These taxing jurisdictions are the Janesville School District, the City of Janesville (including Hedberg Public Library), Rock County, Blackhawk Technical College, and the State of Wisconsin. Instead of requiring that you pay separate bills to each governmental unit, the levies from all five are combined into one bill for your convenience. After you pay your property tax bill, the money is divided and each taxing jurisdiction receives its share.

2015 Avg. Tax Bill

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