Paris Town Board begins discussion of decreasing amount of county taxes paid for residents

The Paris Town Board used its regular monthly meeting Tuesday to begin a dialogue about how much to decrease the amount of county taxes the town will pay for its residents in the future.

In past years, the town has not levied a property tax and has paid all of the county property tax for its residents and businesses. That was possible mostly due to revenue the town receives from the Waste Management owned and operated Pheasant Run landfill, which is located in the southwest corner of the town.

The arrangement has been good for the town and Waste Management, acknowledged Chairman Virgil Gentz, allowing the town not only to have the favorable tax situation described above but also to build up a about $18 million in cash reserves.

But circumstances that once made that arrangement favorable have changed, officials said. Waste Management has told the town they are taking in as much as 70 percent less garbage at the Paris facility. The cause? Much higher state-imposed tipping fees in Wisconsin than Illinois. The charge in Illinois is about $2.50 a ton but $13 a ton in Wisconsin.

“We are having problems with the landfill and the income coming in,” said Supervisor Ken Monson.

Last year, the town budget ran $700,000 in the red, Monson said, necessitating a dip into the interest income from savings. This year, the board has cut the budget significantly, but still faces a $300,000 shortfall.

The county tax owed by town residents is about $1.2 million. To pay that and the budget shortfall would necessitate a dip into the town’s savings principal, something they said they are reluctant to do.

The board does not have a set amount or percentage of county taxes it is proposing to pay at this point, officials said. Instead, they are looking for suggestions from the public before deciding.

Resident Robert LaBell suggested the board consider establishing a set amount the town will pay toward any personal or business county tax. Officials said that is one of the actions under consideration.

The board will have its budget hearing Nov. 21. Before that time, the board expects to hold another meeting to get public ideas and opinion and further discuss alternatives.



  1. Time for change says:

    The landfill has not been fulfilling their contract for a long time now. Any change in taxes should be with a one year notice. WE have the money to cover this year and people won’t be hit with little notice. The future is uncertain but if the board is working as hard as they say then the the rest of the town deserves the time for input and notice.

  2. Jeff Gumm says:

    I am a Paris township resident and while I don’t like this situation, the facts are the facts. Unfortunately because of actions during Governor Doyle’s tenure the State of Wisonsin enacted a huge increase in tipping fees that have clearly reduced the volume to our landfill. Put yourself in Waste Mangement’s position – would you pay $2.50 a ton or $13 a ton? Having said that I am disappointed that the Board is considering not paying the full county tax this year with very little notice to the public. While I understand this situation, I do not understand why the public was not given more time to adjust to this situation – therefore I would ask the Board to postpone any kind of reduction in the county tax payment made by Paris until next year. The only other comment I have is what are our elected officials doing about the ridiculous increase in tipping fees that has cost us this revenue stream?

  3. Steve says:

    After reading the Kenosha News Article, I can see that the residents are NOT being treated equally now. Some get a $1200.00 credit, while others are getting in excess of $6000.00 credit. I have to agree with the others, considering the Governor’s actions happened a few years ago, this is not a new story to the Town Board members – why all of a sudden to they want to change things? They need to remember that this money belongs to ALL of us taxpayers, not the board. And, as it has been said numerous times before, the board should have invested the money wiser years ago. Unfortunately, they didn’t so now we can all suffer and pay. I don’t want to even see my tax bill in a few years when we have to pay county taxes AND town tax.

  4. Time for change says:

    Please show up tomorrow and voice your opinion.

  5. Steve says:

    Why bother – Mr. Labell brought this up already at the last meeting and excuses were made. If the board is so worried about things, why is the budget to much higher than last year? They should hold back on spending.

  6. Time for change says:

    Steve, they have already made cuts to spending. This WM problem didn’t start last month. It’s been a long time. They can’t ram a tax increase down our throats with no notice. As long as the residents agree this is wrong of course. Show up tomorrow. Voice your opinion. They say they will listen.

  7. Steve says:

    Made cuts in spending? Look at the budget that’s in the Kenosha news and tell me where cuts have been made – there aren’t any.

  8. Time for change says:

    I did not read the Kenosha news. I am going off what the board is saying. I should know better, maybe. Show up tomorrow and ask the Board what cuts they are claiming to have made. They need to constantly have their feet held to the fire!

  9. Steve says:

    Again, read yesterday’s kenosha news. There was a big article in the paper and the only people to make comments were Mr. Labell and the town lawyer. None of the board members could be reached for comment. So, when asked at the meeting tomorrow night, the chairman will turn the whole meeting over to the lawyer. It’s happened before. I will say that your name says it all “Time for a change” is definitely what needs to happen to the town board.

  10. Jeff says:

    What time is the meeting tonight?

    1. admin says:

      The special meeting on county tax is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.:
      We plan to cover it as well. — DH

  11. Time for change says:

    Jeff, As you stated above the facts are the facts. That’s right. The fact is that WM has a contract with the town that they have broken in multiple ways. i.e.: limiting garbage from residents. No more tires, oil, anti freeze, etc., and most importantly NOT PAYING the $150K minimum/month to the Town of Paris. It’s in the contract.

  12. Jeff says:

    Time for change – I brought up the issue of the contract stipulation that requires a MINIMUM monthly payment of $150K during the last town board meeting. Another resident had previously asked the question, “How much has the currently monthly payment been?” After reviewing the records the answer was “Over the past year it has probably averaged around $60K.”

    When I got the chance to ask my question, I brought up the $150K minimum, and of course got yet another “non-answer” as they stumbled and mumbled about it. Part of their reasoning is that they feel like they are playing a game of “chicken” with WM, and probably don’t want to push Goliath around at the risk of retaliation.

    Also, the WM contract does have an “out” of that minimum monthly payment – the current contract in place includes an escape clause that allows them to ignore that minimum if its finances are damaged by circumstances beyond its control. WM has argued the change in the state tipping fee was beyond its control, and therefore has not been making the minimum payment. See this link for more:

    My main point about the facts being the facts was just that – this is the hand in front of us, but what is the board doing about it? Why did they not put contigency planning in place back in January of 2009 when this tipping fee was increased? This lack of planning and also keeping the residents in the dark is unacceptable; so then we all show up at the next meeting on 11/21 to have them vote on what they are going to do about paying or not paying our county taxes this year? How about laying out the options they are considering and let the residents weigh in, and then vote? At the end of the day the fact that this board has provided the residents of Paris Township little to no warning that they may not pay our county taxes this year is uncomprehensible.

  13. Steve says:

    You may want to check out the other article on this website regarding the meeting. Bob put it best – the board is not “allowing” the residents to be aware of things going on. There is no posting on the website, nothing at the school – how are we to know about meetings? They may have a meeting planned for two weeks, but us residents don’t know about it until the day of the meeting, or even worse, after it happens!
    I heard you ask your question, it was very clear, and I also heard the stumble and mumble. The stumble and mumble is in charge of our money!!

  14. Time for change says:

    You guys are dead on with this current Board. When asked about notification and putting more on the website they said: it’s not required by law. And, They only have to post in three places by law. I believe the regular postings were at Mars Cheese Castle, the school, and I’m pretty sure they said Tin Cup! (Plus the town hall front door). They do want to keep everyone in the dark. At least two of these board members have to go before more damage is done. I know which two I would choose. Time for change.

  15. Steve says:

    Check out Wisconsin State Statutes 19.83 and 19.84 and you will see what is
    “required by law”. A bar?

  16. Bob says:

    Lots of information there! I guess a bar is a public place, so it wouldn’t hurt to put one there. But, why just Tin Cup? How about Stumble Inn too?

  • Follow us on

  • Archives