The city of Ripon’s 2019 proposed budget is balanced ... but it took some serious belt-tightening to make it happen.

   “... Department heads needed to cut their budgets by 2.50 percent to balance the budget,” City Administrator Lori Rich wrote in her budget memo.

   That’s led to a wide-ranging cuts in most city departments — some cuts that residents would see, others that would be behind the scenes — assuming the cuts remain intact.

   But that doesn’t mean taxes are going down. Even to give department heads the slimmer budgets they have, the city anticipates raising taxes 3.02 percent to a mill rate of 8.21225.

   That means the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $821.22 toward the city’s portion of the tax bill, an increase of about $11.

   For 2018, the rate landed at 8.108274, a 5.3-percent increase over 2017.

   Increased wages, rising health insurance premiums, decreased non-tax revenues and other factors combined to mean that, even with extra tax dollars, the city still must make cuts.

   Decisions on such cuts will be made over the next month or so as the Ripon Common Council begins budget discussions Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Read the full story in the Oct. 4, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.