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Kenosha County Eye

Kenosha Mayor Seeks To Ask Voters To Allow Biggest Tax Increases In Kenosha’s History – $2.5M Every Year Going Forward

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian (D)

“Under state law, the increase in the levy of the City of Kenosha for the tax to be imposed for the next fiscal year, 2023, is limited to 2.654%, which results in a levy of $75,763,738. Shall the City of Kenosha be allowed to exceed this limit and increase the levy for the next fiscal year, 2023, for purpose of additional police and fire protection services, by a total of 3.3%, which results in a levy of $78,263,738, and on an ongoing basis, include the increase of $2,500,000 for each fiscal year going forward?”

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This will be a question on the ballot in the form of a referendum on August 9, 2022 if approved by the mostly-democratic City Council.

This would mark the biggest tax increase in the history of the City of Kenosha.

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The State of Wisconsin statute caps how much cities like Kenosha can tax its citizens. Mayor Antaramian has always been a staunch critic of this statute. He wants to decide how much taxes go up, not the state. So he is using a loop-hole. He will ask the voters to cast their ballots, and if most of the Kenosha tax-payers vote “yes”, he can raises taxes more than the state law allows. The Mayor says it will allow the hiring of 10 police officers and 6 fire-fighters. The Resolution, however does not guarantee that is what the money will be spent on. The Police Department and Fire Department both are running below staff-levels and are struggling to hire candidates. It is unclear, if this measure passes, if it would even result in the extra officers.

We reached out to every Alderman, the mayor, Police Chief, and Fire Chief. We will let you know if we hear back from any of them.

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  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.


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29 Responses

  1. I think it’s a great idea, actually! The Police and Fire Department in Kenosha deserve more financial support, in my opinion.

    1. True, but there’s one problem:

      “The Resolution, however does not guarantee that is what the money will be spent on.”

      That alone is enough to raise the red flag.

      1. I wouldn’t doubt the taxation revenue will go to public sector Union city employee wage increases. A way to secure their Democrat vote. They have a red wave to stymie.

  2. How about sueing BLM & Antifa along with Sheriff Beth for restitution for all loss of property and city services in the aftermath of the riots in 2020?

  3. I’m all for it but it should’ve been done earlier but people can’t afford their taxes now or the rent here

  4. This is about as racist as it gets!
    Democrat politicians always adding taxes keep the poor exactly where they are at. Not very welcoming to poor folks. Typical democrats.

  5. Everybody loves police and firefighters but now isn’t the time to raise taxes. Let them fill their current positions before asking taxpayers to pay more. Inflation is hurting badly and we are having to work overtime to pay bills and necessities. The increase in taxes won’t stop with this. Next they’ll ask for more money. You can bet the school district is already planning to ask for more too. If they want more people, reduce their pay to pay for more employees. They make probably twice as much money as us and we struggle.

  6. I am wondering out loud how much the City spends on litigation and damages awarded to people that suffer harm due to the actions of city employees. I suspect the amount is very high. Maybe it is higher than the Mayor’s proposed increase.

    That would be a great story for the KCE to cover.

    1. An excellent question, “how much does the city spend on litigation?” Another question is, could money be found in programs that the city has enacted and do not produce many results? I am all for more police, fire , etc., but do we need to do it by raising taxes?

  7. Everybody loves police and firefighters but now isn’t the time to raise taxes. Let them fill their current positions before asking taxpayers to pay more. Inflation is hurting badly and we are having to work overtime to pay bills and necessities. The increase in taxes won’t stop with this. Next they’ll ask for more money. You can bet the school district is already planning to ask for more too. If they want more people, reduce their pay to pay for more employees. They make probably twice as much money as us and we struggle.

  8. Its not financial that the police are running short. It is getting new recruits. After 2020 rioting. This money is not guaranteed to go to this project. Democrats would rather spend than look at other places to save.

  9. Blatant money grab. Notice that they are not asking for a one-year increase, and they are not guaranteeing how the increase will actually be spent. They’re asking for the $2.5 million increase for every year going forward. Remember how you voted when you receive your property tax bill every year from now on.

  10. So at this point, and Ive been thinking about this for a while now, its time to start putting together a list of residents that we know ARE UNARMED.
    I have liberal democrats living on both sides of me that dont have guns. I also know a family of women, one just rails on Trump and his supporters who I got to know that dont have guns.
    We need to put a list together of all these folks and give it to all the illegals coming over our southern border and left to find jobs and money on their own.
    Those illegals should start at these folks homes, there will clearly be no resistence from them and I dont want to shoot people when they come throigh my door, but I will and it will be messy.
    So why dont we save all the trouble for these illegals and just hand them a list of homes that have no guns in them……….for everyones safety!
    Im betting at least 4 of 5 on that parks commision dont have guns in their homes.
    Lets get this started!

    Is this a great idea or what?

  11. Anne made a great point. “The Resolution, however does not guarantee that is what the money will be spent on.”

    J makes a great statement and thought to ponder.

    TGHW made and excellent point which I suspect is the case. No way in hell do I believe The Mayor is concerned about the amount of Police we have or firefighters as I truly believe after the riots, he doesn’t give a damn about Kenosha. He’s close to retirement he will leave Kenosha because he knows his game has been exposed. He’s a coward.

    Flood his office with calls starting Monday protesting this attempt to circumvent the state law on property taxes and continue weekly forever like his proposed taxation, at the same time ridicule him for his Parks Committee’s agenda. Just another example this left wing administration does not love Kenosha and cares only about fleecing the tax payers.

    Mr. Mau, we are counting on you to rally the troops or raise some hell. Facilitate change.

    There is no way in hell I believe a vote on the tax issue would be honest ore fare. I believe just setting the bait for the average Joe stupidity test as far as he’s concerned. It just another of theMayors bullshit scam any way you want to look at it.

  12. Be a watchman on the wall and stay on guard every single second of every single day because the left will stop at nothing until they destroy our faith, our families, and our freedoms.

    ~ Marjorie Taylor Green

  13. Consider that the Mayor’s political career is over with so if this turns out to be the rottenest screw job in Kenosha history who are you going to punish?

    Would be interesting to find out if when and if this passes if the city sells the guaranteed $2.5 Million to some investment firm and the actual amount received is much less. Think about other “investments” and how they turn out…like the teachers pension “investment” and school budget increases. I doubt the taxpayers of Kenosha have any clue as to how much they will be on the hook for.

    And, so once it’s passed it appears it in perpetuity, like to Miller Park Tax that never seems to go away. What if at some point a new legislature raises the tax levy limit?

    Better think about this an find out who is behind it and if there are consultants involved look into past history where this has been pulled off.

  14. Raising taxes to hire more police and fire fighters does not buy respect. Our first responders have been demonized by the media, the politicians, and those they serve. It’s no wonder why there’s a shortage of new hires. And I echo the sentiment…”there’s no guarantee of where this money will be spent.”

    1. Beth makes a good point. And again as others point out there is no guarantee the City Council will even do what they promise.

  15. Average UAW retirement back in 1990 was less than $20,000. per year which in 2022 with Democrat BidenFlation purchases about half, so that $20,000 pension today really only is worth $10,000. Of course there is a huge number of retirees and those on fixed income who desire to hold on to their homes, many of which keep neighborhoods stable and in nice shape. The Mayor could care less.

    So why does the City Council wish to destroy the financial well being of it’s senior citizens and the younger generation who yearns to own their first home? The Mayor likely is well off what with taxpayer funded pensions from holding elected office.

    But the rest of the the City Council—Why do they want to do this? Maybe someone will publish a list of names and contact info so those who will be hammered by high property taxes can ask why is the city council doing this, and do they stand to profit?

  16. Interesting that the major wants more money to fund more police and fire protection. When I asked him a few months ago at a city council meeting about hiring more firefighters he told me there was no way that was going to happen because of Act 10 and the Republicans, or if there was a redistribution in the current funds or going to a referendum. At no time did he mention considering any of those ideas. And now he wants the tax payors to foot the bill?? I’m all for it IF IT ACTUALLY GOES TO FUND POLICE AND FIRE. I hope when he retires in two years he stays in Kenosha to help with his share of raised taxes upon the middle-class workers.

  17. Ok because of the Mayors poor fiscal management. He now wants the Citizens to exceed the state level limit. The City has never retired a TIF district. If the Mayor would retire a TIF the increase value would give him the capacity to fund additional first responders. if you do the calculation he is asking for about a 6% increase
    From 73m to 78m. Vote NO until the City is fiscally responsible. Stay within the levy limit that’s why we have a levy limit. This is just poor planning on the part of our spend and tax leaders

  18. The city assessor this year will be increasing assessments on your homes. Your taxes are going up with out this plan. During the pandemic the city 8.4 million for a parking garage? He has plans for a new city hall and then determines we need more cops. Not one city bureaucrat was layed off during the pandemic while thousands of Kenosha workers were without jobs and this putz increased taxes during those years. Take the money out of your you budget.

  19. With inflation going astronomical especially gas & food, how can people on a FIXED INCOME come up with more money??? I have to live on a budget, why doesn’t the city? I support the police & firefighters 100% but there is no guarantee the money will go for them. Stop donating thousands to the Democrat’s Labor Day Picnic every year!!!

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