An error reported to the state caused the city to overestimate last month how much taxpayers would pay to the city in property taxes.

With unofficial blessings from the Finance committee and the full Common Council, Monday’s public hearing on the 2019 budget will correct those numbers, resulting in a proposal with a significantly lower increase in city property taxes this year than previously expected.

Rather than an increase of almost $43, it would be about $11, city administrator Jeff Mikorski explained Monday, Nov. 12, at a Committee of the Whole meeting – the informal gathering of the council that in this case serves as the annual presentation for the budget.

Anyone who wants to comment on the budget can do so next week at the public hearing, which is in a special meeting of the council. This has happened sporadically in prior years, with some budgets and some specific issues drawing more attention than others.

Sometimes, alders make amendments between the presentation of the budget and the public hearing, and at times, that has changed the overall tax increase or has substituted a payment on one item for a payment on another. Frequently, however, there are no changes or insubstantial changes between the presentation and the budget’s adoption the following week.

A recent example was the $2 million set aside for the “water feature” in the 2017 budget that originally had been designated as the Fireman’s Park overhaul. It ended up not being spent in 2017, as the city could not find a suitable location for a community pool. But Fireman’s Park work started this year.

Other times, to prevent complex calculations at the last minute, one line item has been deleted in favor of another. And rarely – though it has happened in the past five years – an amendment has changed the tax rate.

Any amendments to the budget were due by noon Thursday, Nov. 15, to provide time for calculation and allow alders to review the amendments prior to the hearing.

To see the budget, visit the city’s website at ci.verona.wi.us.

Email Verona Press editor Jim Ferolie at veronapress@wcinet.com.