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Property taxes are adjusted through mil rate and assessed value. At one time assessed value was connected to market value. I know this because when I purchased a home in Racine, the first assessment I received was for more than I paid – at a time of increasing home prices – I found a copy of the law, took it to city hall, and presented it to the assessor, who got very angry, but dropped my assessment. This law is now gone.

What the City does now is take the tax levy , and distribute it around. Houses are marked to fantasy – as is plainly evident – to justify the levy – got that? If the City needs $50M – it’s got to make the properties fit – and it has two tools to work with – mil rate (cost charged/thousand) or housing values. Various laws limit the various adjustable points, and the City juggles everything around to fit.

The City is also limited, by the State Constitution, as to how much it can borrow – and so is RUSD, I’ve gone over this stuff before – look at Wisconsin Constitution – hence total assessed value of a Community is important. This is where you now need your thinking cap – take all this stuff into account – and what do you see – the trend is your friend….

Racine is circling the drain – as the distance to the center gets shorter, the speed increases. HENCE: The tipping point has been breached, IMO, and the City is now on an ever increasing downward spiral = debt death spiral. It needs to raise revenue, but every time it raises the rates, a few more people don’t pay – anticipated revenue does not equal budgeted revenue, so rates must be raised again. Raising rates makes marginal businesses unprofitable, which drives them out, causing unemployment and people without jobs can’t afford houses, cars, toys, nights on the town, SO, more businesses close. The pie isn’t growing, it’s shrinking – and everybody wants a piece. SO – fewer and fewer people and businesses have to pay more and more until DEFAULT. The adult game of musical chairs.

LOOK – You can increase revenue by taking more per person, OR by taking the same from more people. Which is better? Which works over the long term? IF the City spends $1 on infrastructure and it benefits business – there is a return to be expected in increased tax revenues from more business activity – if not, the money is lost – and if it is done with debt – the cost of that debt takes away from the operating budget – and hence taxes must be raised just to remain static…

NOW the City didn’t pay the full cost of the $5mil roundabout – but what is the return? What – the City invested around $1M – it helped out some local contractors – but did it expand the tax base? How about RUSD – their business is educating children to maintain and grow the tax base. They have failed miserably – but if you give them more – they will suddenly do their job? LULZ. John has borrowed $20M over the past two years – the debt service has expanded enormously – where is the return? The expansion of the tax base? LULZ. Racine will at least LOOK good as it defaults….LULZ. Fest Hall – asset or liability? City Hall Bathroom renovations – Asset or Liability? Zoo – Asset or Liability? Marsupial Bridges, Pools and Water Parks – Assets or Liabilities? AND the people who go around screaming "Quality of Life’ – HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS?