Conservative group praises no-tax-increase plan

By Jennifer Eisenbart

Staff writer

With very little fanfare – and even a small standing ovation from members of a local political group that advocates conservative government – the Town of Burlington passed its budget Tuesday night.

The meeting lasted all of 15 minutes, most of which was taken by Chairman Ralph Rice to explain the budget.

The town’s mill rate will remain at $2.56 per $1,000 of property value, with a tax bill of $256.33 for each $100,000 of property value for the town’s portion of the tax bill.

Rice made a point of outlining what the town saved by contracting for police services – versus running its own department – and then showing what the town had lost in revenue.

He estimated that the town saved about $133,000 switching to contracted police services with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department, while state aid cuts and other increases in expenses meant that the town had lost $131,624 in revenue.

“Which is almost a wash,” Rice said.

The board then got compliments from Bonnie Ketterhagen – one of the leaders of WeVote Burlington, a conservative political group in the area that promotes limited government and contained costs.

“We are very proud of this township’s board,” Ketterhagen said. “We thank you for your fiscal responsibility. You are a very good role model.”

Ketterhagen then shook the hands of each board member and presented them with certificates of achievement.

From there, the town members in the audience offered unanimous approval of both the budget and the highway expenditures ($800,000 for 2012), and the board gave its approval about two minutes later.

“Everyone is still employed, and services are about the same,” Rice said.