Sussex homeowners will experience an 1.7 percent increase in the village portion of their taxes after the Village Board unanimously approved the municipality's 2013 spending plan on Tuesday.
The owner of the average home assessed at $280,725 will see an increase of $24, or 1.7 percent, in village taxes from last year. The total property tax levy will increase by $153,052, or 2.87 percent.
"We are trying to bridge the economic peaks and valleys," said Village Administrator Jeremy Smith during his budget presentation. "Obviously, these times are tough economically and so we are trying to balance the needs of the taxpayer while still managing the operation(al) needs to continue to provide the level of service that the community has come to expect."
The $8.15 million general fund increased $102,342, or 1.27 percent, compared to the 2012 village budget.
One of the major items in the budget is a $38,000 depreciation expense set aside to pay for the replacement of an ambulance.
"This is part of (our) pay-as-you-go strategy, which will reduce future debt cost," said Smith, who noted that the same approach will be taken for other equipment purchases to eventually eliminate the cost of interest.
Another major cost increase incurred by the village is in public safety. The village contracts with the Waukesha Sheriff's Department for police services. The line item increased by $49,508 to $2.83 million, or 1.78 percent.
"It is a small percentage change, but yet because of how large it is porportional to everything else, it's a large dollar amount," Smith explained.
The village also saw a 5.2 percent increase to run the library and a 6.9 percent increase in cultural, recreation and education spending.
On the revenue side, a 5.9 percent increase ($40,525) in intergovernmental revenues and a 3 percent increase ($12,976) in public charges for services will help offset the increase in expenses.