City finalizes budget with tax increase

It’s official: Ripon taxpayers will owe just a bit more to the city of Ripon this winter than they did last December.

The Ripon Common Council approved its 2018 budget Tuesday night following a public hearing on the topic, though no one from the public attended.

Technically, the budget called for a 5.3-percent increase in the mill rate, raising it to 8.108274. That would mean the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $810.82 for the city of Ripon’s portion of the tax bill.

Given that the rate currently is at about 7.70, on that same $100,000 home “this would be a tax increase of approximately $40.79,” according to a memo City Administrator Lori Rich wrote when budget discussions began.

The good news, according to the city of Ripon, is the real increase in taxes from last year to this year won’t be as high as the 5.3 percent suggests. That number is inflated, and the actual extra amount property owners will pay will be somewhat less.

This is because of a confusing mathematical formula the state uses to determine property valuations in a community.

Essentially, because property values have been lowered by the state within the Ripon community, the tax rate has to be higher to collect the same number of dollars from that property.

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