Local governments will have more money to work - if they want it - after a last-minute change to the state budget.
Racine could boost its budget at least $400,000 following Gov. Jim Doyle's line-item veto that raised municipal levy limits to 3.86 percent. The initial rate was 2 percent.
The late change means more money for the Racine city government, if the City Council and mayor want to pass along a greater levy hike to the taxpayers. Becker initially proposed a 2 percent increase in the amount the city raises in property taxes, cutting it back from 4 percent after the Legislature passed its state budget.
Doyle's veto could allow Becker to revert back to his initial plan. That could mean retaining the police officer and three firefighters cut from Becker's plan. It could also save the job of a community center director that Becker proposed for elimination.
One alderman said its likely the police officer position will be saved (it would have been cut through attrition, not a layoff). As for the rest, that's likely up the City Council, which will debate the budget over the coming month.
Becker said Monday that any additions to the budget will be up to the City Council. "Any additions will come from them, but I do have a few ideas I hope they look at," he said without elaborating.
The Milwaukee J-S is a bit behind on the story with news this morning that Becker had to cut $580,000 from his budget to accommodate the 2 percent levy limit.
But the story did have a nice detail on the budget. The mayor's plan includes $50,000 for hand-held parking ticket machines for city police cars. That'll make it easier for officers to hand out parking tickets at the new fee of $13 per offense. Lovely.