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Madison mayor outlines budget plan

Published On: Oct 02 2012 07:04:35 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 02 2012 09:16:05 PM CDT
Paul Soglin
MADISON, Wis. -

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin on Tuesday outlined his budget plans for the upcoming year, and like the Dane County executive's budget numbers released Monday, Soglin faces state tax levy limits as well.

The mayor laid out his plans Tuesday afternoon, saying the continuing state limits challenge the city's ability to maintain basic services, strengthen neighborhoods and provide public safety.

While the city is required to hold the levy increase to 0.7 percent, the property tax increase in Soglin's budget amounts to $47 for the average home.

Soglin said 75 percent of the city's budget comes from those property taxes, the highest for any municipality he knows of. And the mayor pointed the finger at what he calls "continuing inequities" of state shared revenue distribution, leaving Madison with an unfair disadvantage

"All of (the city services) take investment," Soglin said. "And with a few million dollars here and a few million dollars there, we could do a lot more of that and really change the city in a glorious manner. That's the frustrating part because we know what needs to be done."

Some key changes in the budget included an increase in the ambulance fee from $600 to $900 and a Metro bus fare hike from $2 to $2.25.

The budget also reflects an effort to attract new businesses, specifically in developing the tourist market and highlighting Madison's music scene.

Soglin's budget will go before the Madison Common Council for final approval in the coming weeks.

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