2016 Budget

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2016 Budget Update 

October 20, 2015: Budget Presentation

City Manager Mark Freitag presented the proposed 2016 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 2016 budget.

October 22, 2015: Second Budget Study Session

The City Council reconvened on October 22, 2015 to further discuss the proposed 2016 budget. At that time, the City Council were presented with staff's follow-up responses from items discussed at the first meeting or that staff received via email.

October 28, 2015: Final Budget Study Session

The City Council reconvened on October 28, 2015 to further discuss the proposed 2016 budget and make any changes. At that time, the City Council were presented with staff's remaining follow-up responses. After all responses were presented, the City Council recommended the following changes to the proposed 2016 budget via consensus voting:

  • Increase the City Council profession development budget by $7,000.
  • Eliminate the proposed Fire Department minimum staffing reduction, thus increasing expenditures by $164,230.
  • Increase the Fire Department's EMS transport revenue by $35,500.
  • Eliminate the proposed roof replacement permit, thus decreasing revenue by $18,000.
  • Increase various community development permit fees to generate approximately $5,000 in additional revenue.
  • Eliminate the proposed part-time to full time Finance Division staff increase for a savings of $9,000. 
  • Implement Fire Department inter-city EMS transports to generate $200,000 in revenue, net expenditures.
  • Eliminate General Fund subsidy to the Golf Courses, thus decreasing expenditures by $9,967.
  • Add a position to coordinate downtown revitalization efforts through implementation of the Rock Renaissance Area Redevelopment and Implementation Strategy (ARISE) plan at a cost of $102,000.

November 9, 2015: First Budget Public Hearing

Following the public hearing where individuals had the opportunity to share comments regarding the budget, no changes were made to the budget.

November 23, 2015: Second Budget Public Hearing and Adoption

Finance Director Tim Allen presented the City Council with updates to the proposed 2016 budget since the first public hearing.

  • Allocate 80% ($428,000) of original wheel tax revenue ($10) to Wheel Tax / Enhanced Street Program Fund.
  • Allocate corresponding street maintenance expenditures ($428,000) to Wheel Tax/ Enhanced Street Program Fund.
  • Increase Transit's General Fund subsidy by $2,337 due to elimination of Janesville Milton Commuter Express route.

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 the Rock Renaissance Area Redevelopment and Implementation Strategy (ARISE) coordinator position at a savings of $97,217.
  • Add $50,000 for professional services related to implementation of the Rock Renaissance Area Redevelopment and Implementation Strategy (ARISE) (match Forward Foundation).
  • Increase funding for the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin animal control contract by $10,000.
  • Reduce the City Council professional development budget by $3,500.
  • Eliminate the part-time Emergency Management Program Manager position at a savings of $29,892.

The City Council adopted the 2016 budget - inclusive of all previous changes - by a 7-0 vote.

2016  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 $45.2 million to pay for 2016 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 2016 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 (66 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 $49.2 million that the City of Janesville government and Library has budgeted to pay for year 2015 expenses, $32.5 million will be raised through the property tax levy, $16.1 million will be raised through non-property tax revenues, and the approximate remaining $590,000 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 

2016 property tax rate = $33,368,387 / $3,947,954,060 = 0.0084521.

Tax rates are reported per $1,000 of assessed property value; therefore, the local tax rate is $8.45.

Step Four: Calculate Your Tax Bill

To calculate the General City portion of your tax bill, a tax rate of $8.45 means that for every $1,000 of property you own you are taxed $8.4521 for city government services. For example, a Janesville resident who owns an average assessed home of $121,000 will pay $1,023 in 2016 (($121,000/1,000) x $8.4521 = $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.

2016 Avg. Tax Bill

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