Brookfield assessed growth less than 1%

The Board of Review met this morning and assessed property values in the City of Brookfield only grew 0.987% to $6,300,693,600.

This low number has enormous implications for taxpayers who will be taxed above that growth according to state caps. Low growth also affects the estimates used for the Elmbrook referendum as well as the failing TIF district in our community.

Brookfield Mayor Jeff Speaker campaigned over two years ago on how he was “mission accomplished” and “Brookfield’s best days are yet ahead.” Looks like we’re still waiting.

I’ve got lots of numbers swirling around the computer desktop right now and will get them to you. It’s going to take a while to get the historical data lined up. Of course, now that the “real” reporters know they are out, expect updates across the board.

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Another important bit of news is that the equalized value ratio – the number the state uses to make an apples to apples comparison of communities – is at 100% this year for Brookfield. Last year the number was 98%. I know it’s a little hard to track, but that means there was real loss of value in Brookfield’s properties last year. If we were still seeing property value increases, that ratio would be lower. The ratio is divided INTO the assessed value to determine the equalized value. (Example: $100,000 in property value divided by 0.98 would yield an equalized assessed property value of $102.040.80. This year, $100,000 in property value yields $100,000 in equalized value.)

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What the average taxpayer doesn’t know about property taxes is overwhelming. The little I know I still check back with the experts to make sure I’m on track. I’ll do my best to spell it out over the next few days. There’s no way around the fact that this upcoming budget is going to be ugly. The mayor and his henchmen will be crying crocodile tears over the need to tighten spending, and taxpayers will see tax increases regardless of lowered value.

C’est la vie – at least in Brookfield.

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