CALL TO ACTION IN DODGE COUNTY

 

To ALL Dodge County taxpayers: 

 

Would you like to show the Supervisors of Dodge County that we, the taxpayers of Dodge County, are not a bunch of ignorant serfs that many of them would hope us to be? Yes??

 

Then become involved with me with the 2022 Dodge County budget. Remember, this is the document used to pull money out of your pocket to fulfill government wishes. Some services obviously are neccessary but let's bridle things a bit starting now. I will keep you up to speed on what is going on in this budget process. There is a timeline created for completion and I need your help with six phone calls at specific points during the next two months. 

 

I will provide information in simple terms as this progresses to provide opportunity for ALL of us to end the seemingly insatiable desire that our administrator and many department heads have to spend more money.

 

I have attended a special Finance Committee meeting which kicked off this budget process. The 2022 budget is a work in progress right now. I have been given proposed numbers which, if discovered to be in error or if changed, I will immediately pass along.

 

First off, look out for the old "mill rate smoke and mirrors" numbers that may be thrown around to distract you from the real numbers of actual tax paid. The mill rate is used to figure how much tax you will pay for every 1000 dollars worth of your property value. If your property is worth 1000 dollars and Dodge County wants 60 dollars of tax revenue they would use a mill rate of 6% (6% of the 1000 dollars of property value) to levy (a forced payment) the 60 dollars they demand. 

 

If your property value rises to 2,000 dollars the next year and Dodge County needs 80 dollars of property tax from you, the mill rate would be figured at 4% (4% of every 1000 dollars) to levy 40 dollars from every 1000 dollars of property value. Since your property is valued at 2000 dollars they would levy 40 dollars x 2 to get their desired 80 dollars. 

 

As you see, the mill rate fell from 6% to 4% these two years. This is, as my predecessor bragged about, something to celebrate?? Yes, the mill rate went down but total tax collected went up from 60 dollars to 80 dollars. Do not be fooled by this deceptive rhetoric. Everybody who uses mill rate in their argument is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. 

 

One of the first phrases heard at the special Finance Committee meeting that I attended came from one of the comittee members and echoed by the Finance Department Director "TAX TO THE MAX", because if we lower taxes this year it will limit what we can tax next year. The other committee members disagreed, one immediately and the others hesitantly. Now you may be getting an idea of what is before us. I WILL DIRECT YOU HOW TO GET INVOLVED TO FIGHT THIS. WE WILL ALL NEED TO MAKE UP TO SIX PHONE CALLS TO OUR SUPERVISOR OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT TWO MONTHS TO TURN THIS BUDGET INTO ONE WHICH IS PRO TAXPAYER AND FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE. 

 

Help us save tax dollars by making these phone calls. 

 

Our Departments have submitted their preliminary budgets, many represented as holding their spending near to last years level, with seven asking for less. This is greatly appreciated. 

 

There are some departments on the other side of the spectrum asking for quite a bit more money for next year. 

 

1) The Highway Department cames in at the top of the list asking for 1.5 million dollars more than their previous budget (a 43% increase). They want another 9-10 million dollars for roads alone even if it has to be borrowed. Our man Ajay is on the ground watching this and has some real concerns about how business is being done there. He believes we need new blood on the Highway Committee to be able to look at things from a different perspective, saving money in the process. (We welcome more people to agree to run in the spring election of 2022, a move to bring Dodge County back under it's citizenery.)

 

AND GET THIS: The administrator and Highway Committee are forcing this 9-10 million dollars upon us by INCLUDING IT IN THE COUNTY BUDGET EVEN THOUGHT IT HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED. Rather than doing this the right way (adding it to the budget IF it gets approved) the administrator is including it from the start and will allow it to be taken out if it isn't approved. I wonder if this is even fully legal. 

 

2) The Health Department comes in second. There is a request for an additional 650,000 dollars in the new budget, some of this due to changes in an accounting procedure, but this is the same deparment that foresees a 1.5 million dollar overrun of last years budget. This amount, I believe, will be pulled out of their general fund but has to be replaced somehow. The Health Department has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of State Grant Funds for COVID purposes (think Contact Tracing, etc.) but they are still over budget with little to no adjustments made along the way to compensate for the foreseen budget overrun. 

 

3) The Dodge County Sheriff's Office is the next in line here. They have proposed an increase of 451,000 dollars for the new budget but neglect to reveal an additional full-time accountant that has been hired to get their accounting practices in order. The cost for this has been placed on the back of the Finance Department which is now asking for an additional 122,000 dollars. This should be added to the Dodge County Sheriff's budget to see the whole picture here, making their increase actually 574,000 dollars. 

 

Are you catching sight of the ingrained attitude waged against the taxpayers? Please join us in fighting these tactics. Let's pull together to do this. 

 

Do you remember, maybe 2 or 3 months ago, there was the mention of plans to build a glorified indoor parking structure and storage facility for three of the County's Departments? The price came in at 2 to 3 million dollars. This is not scheduled to happen in 2022 as far as I can see but the Physical Facilities Committee is already talking about it. Two of the three above mentioned budget busters are behind this structure. 

 

We the People of Dodge County must step up to stop this level of unsustainable borrowing and spending. It is bad enough to see it happening at the federal level. We can do something about it at our county level. We want our county portion of real estate taxes to NOTICABLY go down. We pay 2 to 3 times more than our neighbors in Washington and Waukesha counties. This is uncalled for. Since we are not personally benefitting from this excessive taxation, you do not have to look far to see who is. 

 

Speaking of the federal level, the latest COVID relief package brought 18 million dollars to Dodge County alone. Rather than finding a way to benefit all of Dodge County, our County Administrator Jim Mielke is proposing a policy to pay all the employees of Dodge County an extra bonus for working through the challenges of the past 16 months due to COVID. Yes, we thank them, but we worked through those times too, and some of us actually lost our jobs. Not a single Dodge County employee lost even one hour of pay, more then what the private sector experienced. This is a perk which is wrongfully being slid into next years budget. I guess our administrator, Jim Mielke, does not view us as anything but his money tree, owing our lives and existence to his administration. How disappointing, to say the least. He seems to be out of touch our circumstances and he is the driving force behind this budget. 

 

I could go on but I want this all to have time to sink in. Rubicon and Neosho (District 10) have put me on the Dodge County Board of Supervisors and now I am asking for your help. Taxpayers MUST tell the Supervisors which way the door swings. 

 

SHARE THIS CALL TO ACTION WHEREVER YOU CAN. WE NEED TO ALERT ALL TAXPAYERS IN DODGE COUNTY. 

 

There are other Supervisor's who agree with me and I with them, BUT WE NEED YOU TO JOIN US IN THIS WORTH-WHILE EFFORT. Put your Supervisors phone number in your speed dial so that you can easily make the 4-6 calls when I inform you to do so over the next 2 months. I will give you direction regarding what you will be calling about. They must know that you are watching. Find your Supervisor by going to www.co.dodge.wi.gov and under 'Departments' click on 'County Board'. Scroll down on the left hand menu bar and click on 'County Supervisory District Maps'. Now click 'Maps/Parcels/Records' (top left hand menu bar). Then under 'Elected Official District Maps' click 'County Supervisor District Maps'. All you need should be there to find your Supervisor and their contact information. 

 

Call me if you need assistance. 

 

Thank you, and we will keep in touch.

 

Dan Siegmann

920-392-4406