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Wausau city leaders debate small tax hike

Wausau City Council
Wausau City Council

WAUSAU, Wis (WSAU) A disagreement is brewing in Wausau over whether property taxes will be raised to cover a budget shortfall in 2013. The finance committee met last night to discuss the issue.

The city is facing a $214,000 shortfall -- a relatively small amount in a budget of about $77-million.

Mayor Jim Tipple recommends a property tax hike of $5.20 for the owner of a typical $100,000 home. City finance director Marianne Groat recommends a slightly smaller amount just under $4. The increases would cover about half of the shortfall.

Finance committee chairman Bill Nagle described the increase as 'reasonable' in a recent newspaper interview. He said much of the new tax revenue would go towards road improvements. But city council president Lisa Rasmussen says taxpayers are 'maxed out' and the city needs to hold the line on taxes.

The entire budget and any tax increase needs the approval of the city council before it's finalized.