Property

Voters say no to Racine referendum to raise property taxes for more police officers

When Racine voters went to the polls Tuesday, they had to decide on a $2 million referendum to pay for 11 new police officers.The cost for the boost in protection would have been higher property taxes, but residents voted the referendum down, leaving the city to figure out a long-term solution.”The end of spring last year, some murders and shootings that have happened just blocks from my house, so that stuff kind of just swishes in your mind,” homeowner Abbie Laitinen said. “I was kind of paralyzed by indecision. I ended up not voting.”The Racine Common Council approved adding the referendum to the ballot during a meeting in July, citing the growing crime rate as the reason for the change. It would have increased a homeowner’s property tax bill by $53 for every $100,000 in home value.”We are at a place with the rescue dollars that Joe Biden has sent to communities all over the country where we’re able to maintain what we currently have for a couple of years here,” Racine Mayor Cory Mason said. Mason is now calling on state lawmakers to step in and ask for bipartisan action.”Public safety is a state concern as well as a local concern, and I think if we want to see safer streets and safer communities, we need the state to invest in police departments,” Mason said. “With the state sitting on a historically large $3 billion-plus surplus, Republicans have an opportunity here to not only talk about funding the police but actually funding the police.”

When Racine voters went to the polls Tuesday, they had to decide on a $2 million referendum to pay for 11 new police officers.

The cost for the boost in protection would have been higher property taxes, but residents voted the referendum down, leaving the city to figure out a long-term solution.

“The end of spring last year, some murders and shootings that have happened just blocks from my house, so that stuff kind of just swishes in your mind,” homeowner Abbie Laitinen said. “I was kind of paralyzed by indecision. I ended up not voting.”

The Racine Common Council approved adding the referendum to the ballot during a meeting in July, citing the growing crime rate as the reason for the change.

It would have increased a homeowner’s property tax bill by $53 for every $100,000 in home value.

“We are at a place with the rescue dollars that Joe Biden has sent to communities all over the country where we’re able to maintain what we currently have for a couple of years here,” Racine Mayor Cory Mason said.

Mason is now calling on state lawmakers to step in and ask for bipartisan action.

“Public safety is a state concern as well as a local concern, and I think if we want to see safer streets and safer communities, we need the state to invest in police departments,” Mason said. “With the state sitting on a historically large $3 billion-plus surplus, Republicans have an opportunity here to not only talk about funding the police but actually funding the police.”

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