Residents speak at a meeting in the Village of Luxembourg, upset by the 69% rise in property tax

LUXEMBURG, Wis. (WBAY) — A village meeting in Kewaunee County turned into a shouting match at one point between officials and upset citizens. The source of the tension was a property tax hike linked to several infrastructure projects.

The administrators of the village of Luxembourg met on Tuesday evening, but at least three people took the floor to discuss a point that was not on the agenda: a 69% increase in property tax.

“The median household income is $63,000 a year, and you just raised everyone’s taxes by more than 60%,” said Abe Baber from Luxembourg. “Just in November. Just before Christmas. What a nice Christmas gift for these households that earn $63,000 a year. “

Luxembourg increased its rate per thousand by $21. 38 in 2021 to $25.54 in 2022. This equates to a tax increase of about $400 on a home worth $100,000.

Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Olson also attended and criticized the tax increase. “It’s very obvious that the village government structure isn’t working — I mean, when you have a 69.5% tax increase of this nature, unplanned,” Olson said.

“I’m looking for a clear explanation of how you came to this consensus of being able to raise over $400 for $100,000 on homes,” said Chad Holewinski of Luxembourg.

One administrator acknowledged that steps should have been taken to ensure that the tax rate did not peak so high.

“I understand that but… the mistake was made. What needs to be done is that it doesn’t happen again. That’s what I’m going to try,” administrator Ron Tlachac said.

According to Luxembourg officials, several much-needed road repair projects have been undertaken, which they described as costly. They include the intersections of Frontier Road and Ash Street and part of AB County and Main Street.

“I pay like everyone else and mine has gone up too,” village chairman Jake Seidl said. “All council members agree that the tax rate has gone up, but we have achieved a tremendous amount and that will help us in the future.”

The village also installed fiber optic cables for wireless internet, which cost them over $700,000. Officials are using federal covid-19 relief funds, also known as ARPA, to help pay for it.

“It wasn’t a toss-up decision, like you were trying to insult us,” administrator Dan Porath said.

Tlachac told one of the men speaking that if he was so upset by the village’s decisions, he should stand in the April elections for a seat.

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