Beaver Dam’s Proposed Budget Outlines Both Scenarios If BDFD Referendum Is Approved

(Beaver Dam) The city of Beaver Dam’s 2021 budget as published details the impact resulting from both possible scenarios in the outcome of the referendum on the November third ballot. Voters in the city are seeing a binding referendum to fund a half dozen new positions in the fire department.

The proposed 2021 budget as it is written qualifies for the state’s Expenditure Restraint Program, which financially rewards municipalities that keep their spending in check. However, the city would not qualify for the ERP in the 2022 budget if the referendum is approved by voters because expenses would exceed the allowable increase. The city’s Finance Department released updated numbers Tuesday detailing both scenarios. The proposed 16.9-million-dollar budget includes a tax levy of $10.82-million dollars, which is a decrease of $45-thousand dollars from the budget adopted for the current fiscal year.

If the referendum is approved, the net tax levy would increase by $383-thousand dollars over the 2020 budget. Because qualifying for the Expenditure Restraint Program is based on the previous year’s numbers, the impact of the referendum would not be realized until the 2022 budget. The council on Monday agreed to publish the budget, as required by statute prior to its public hearing, with both scenarios. If the referendum is approved, the mill rate for next year is projected at $9.46, down from this year’s $9.58. If the referendum is not approved, the mill rate would be $9.09. Final adoption is slated for November 16.