K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: City of Madison plans 5.9% spending increase

Alison Garfield:

The mayor’s operating budget, however, is up 5.9% from 2023’s $382 million budget and would increase the city portion of taxes by $109 on a home with Madison’s average value of $424,400, to a total of $3,016, according to the proposal.

Every budget since at least 2011 has seen a gap between the cost to serve residents and the funding available to do so, Rhodes-Conway said, and as Madison’s population has grown, so has that gap.

While one-time revenues from tax incremental financing and COVID-19 grants have helped fill the budget deficit in the past, those options are limited moving forward. Already there are 10% fewer city employees per 1,000 residents than there were in 2011.

“This is the final year that we will be able to use federal COVID relief funds and other one-time monies to balance the budget. Beyond 2024, to be honest, the forecast is pretty bleak because our costs continue to grow,” Rhodes-Conway said.