Public Safety Referendum
As St. Croix County continues to grow, the demand for public safety services rises with it - creating a need for additional personnel that current funding levels cannot support. To give residents an opportunity to have their voices heard, the St. Croix County Board of Supervisors voted to place a Public Safety Referendum Question on April 4, 2023 spring ballot.
This question asks voters of St. Croix County whether or not to support an increase in the county annual tax levy to cover the public safety costs for:
- 8 - Sheriff Deputies
- 4 - Correction Deputies
- 3 - Investigators
- 2 - Pre-Trial Case Managers
- 2 - Support Staff
- 2 - Deputy Clerk of Courts
- 1 - CHIPS (Child in Need of Protection and/or Services) Attorney
- 2 - Co-Responders
Why is the County Seeking this Referendum?
Our public safety staff have gone above and beyond to address the increasing needs of our County. They have adapted to address these needs by working smarter, creating efficiencies, collaborating with stakeholders and community members, utilizing special funding sources, and prioritizing what types of service we provide. Despite our best efforts, it is increasingly difficult to meet the growing demands for service without additional personnel.
In 2005, the state of Wisconsin adopted property tax levy restrictions that limited the ability of local governments to increase their property tax levies annually. Local government’s ability to raise revenue is limited to level of net new construction in the County or approval by voters through referendum. Due to these tax levy restrictions, counties are limited in the amount of money available to provide the services we all count on every day like protection from law enforcement, road repair and snow removal, just to name a few of the many services provided by the County.
As the population has grown and the need for services has increased, the County has had to choose between what the community wants and what the budget provides. After many years of finding creative ways to bridge this ever-widening gap we have fallen far behind on the demand for services in public safety.
Growing Public Safety Needs
Since 2006 The County’s population has grown by 19%. During this time, calls for service to the Sheriff’s Office have increased by 25%. The Sheriff’s Office is now responding to over 20,000 more calls for service compared to 2006, while staffing levels have remained the same.
Part of the Public Safety plan is for additional support of the District Attorney’s Office. The number of felony cases in the County have increased by 54% since 2006. Funding through this referendum will allow for additional support staff and an attorney to handle CHIPS (Child in Need of Protection and/or Services) cases that will help the State-funded attorneys in the District Attorney's Office focus on the increasing complexity of criminal felony cases.
Join us at an upcoming informational session for the chance to learn more and ask questions. Additional meetings and appearances may be added to this list. As informational sessions are scheduled, they will be listed here.
- No informational sessions scheduled at this time. Please check back soon.