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MOUNT PLEASANT — Mount Pleasant is preparing its 2019 budget during the first year of the Foxconn Technology Group development and is preparing for a tax levy increase, which means residents will see higher tax bills.

On Monday, the village plans to have a public budget meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Village Hall, 8811 Campus Drive, where residents will be able to make comments to the Village Board, and the board could offer amendments to the 2019 budget.

The village plans to levy $19.8 million from taxpayers which is $866,000 more than last year.

The budget does not raise the mill rate, which is currently $7.31 per $1,000 of assessed property value. However, homeowners will see tax increases because of higher property tax assessments.

The vast majority of Mount Pleasant’s residential properties now have higher assessments, with the average being about 10 percent, the village’s contracted assessor, Dan McHugh, said in May after residents were mailed their new assessments.

The village’s total expenditures are nearly $21.4 million, which is $925,000 more than last year.

Village Administrator Maureen Murphy said there are multiple reasons for the increases.

Health care costs have increased by $118,000 and pay increases across the village have amounted to roughly $285,000.

To help better understand the most appropriate way to compensate employees the village looked to a study to evaluate the amount non-union employees should be paid. That study cost $90,000.

The village also has a new records clerk supervisor which costs $92,000 including pay and benefits, and a new Department of Public Works maintenance worker which costs $93,000 including pay and benefits.

In 2018 there were a few positions that were not fully funded but are proposed to be funded in the 2019 budget such as a building maintenance technician at $69,000 and fully funding an executive assistant at $23,000.

There were also increases in professional services which can range from attorney fees to cleaning services, at a cost of $110,000.

With winter just around the corner, road salt costs have increased by $50,000.

Also, as part of the budget, the total budget for public safety increased from $15.05 million to $15.72 million, a 4.43 percent increase.

On the other hand, the village anticipates $1.5 million in building permit payments from Foxconn and an additional $400,000 in other building permit payments as an indirect result of the development.

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Ricardo Torres covers federal, state and Racine County politics along with the Village of Mount Pleasant. He bleeds Wisconsin sports teams.

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