“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?”
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.
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.