Green Lake city officials thought they were doing a good thing by paying down city debts.

   But in trying to be fiscally responsible, they may have triggered a shortfall in the 2018 budget due to a state formula on levy limits — and the city may need to borrow money to raise its limit.

   Mayor Jon McConnell told the City Council at its Committee of the Whole meeting Monday that the assessed value of the city went up by about 4 percent.

   However, a decrease in debt service would keep the levy limit roughly the same, at $1,271,625.

   “So, basically, what I’m trying to say is that our value — our property values and everything — are increasing in the city of Green Lake but our tax revenues are not,” McConnell said. “... It’s crazy, I know, but the way the state functions is that if you have more debt service then you’re able to raise your levy limit.”

   The result is a $137,955 gap between expenses in the proposed budget and the city’s levy limit.

   “We’ve got a serious problem here at $137,000,” Ald. George King said.

   Read the full story in the Nov. 9, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.