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Town of Hudson valuation ratio remains at 10-year-low

The Town of Hudson's ratio of assessed valuation to equalized valuation hit a second consecutive 10-year low mark in 2015, according to a year-end financial report accepted by the Town Board last week.

Last year's ratio for all taxable property was 84.18 percent, down from 90.34 percent in 2014, 97.63 percent in 2013, 99.26 percent in 2012 and 98.28 percent in 2011.

The ratio was 99.87 percent in 2010, 97.56 percent in 2009, 92.86 percent in 2008, 91.70 percent in 2007, 95.15 percent in 2006 and 101.99 percent in 2005.

The 2014 ratio also represented a 10-year low mark.

The financial report was unanimously accepted by the board Feb. 2 as part of the meeting’s consent agenda.

The report will also be presented to electors at the Town of Hudson's annual meeting in April.

The town's total 2015 assessed valuation -- including real estate and personal property -- was $788,091,800, while its equalized valuation was $936,736,600.

In 2014, those totals were $783,648,800 and $867,384,000, respectively.

In 2013, the totals were $777,920,750 and $800,544,600, according to the report.

The Town of Hudson's 2015 tax levy -- which accounted for 6.5 percent of local property owners' tax bills last year -- was $856,176.

The town's total 2015 levy from all taxable jurisdictions was $13,172,372.57, with the state accounting for 1.2 percent, St. Croix County accounting for 26.54 percent, the Hudson School District accounting for 63.1 percent and vocational, technical and adult education accounting for 2.66 percent.

After state school, lottery and first dollar credits, the total 2015 tax levy in the Town of Hudson was $11,420,234.03, according to the report.

When special assessments and forest-land taxes were added, 2015 aggregate tax collections in the town totaled $11,450,701.04 -- compared to 2014's $12,327,379.09.

The report also showed a $9,366.91 balance on hand in the town's general interest-bearing checking account as of Dec. 31, along with with an unspent $21,953.40 in the town's road construction and maintenance account and $1,025,210.26 in the town's savings account.

The year-end savings account balance includes $537,313.19 in advance real estate collections in December, leaving the actual amount of undesignated general funds at $518,690.92.

There also was $542.56 in the town's first responders account as of Dec. 31. The report notes that the first responders account is not part of the Town of Hudson's general fund and is available only for training and equipment.

Other action last week, the board approved special zoning exception for a Brakke Drive residence where a small number of free-range chickens are kept.

The approval came after a public hearing immediately before the board's regular meeting that was prompted by wandering-chicken complaints from neighbors near the property at 606 Brakke Drive.

Owner Laura Bowman, who keeps five chickens on her property, requested the special exception after she was notified about the complaints during a follow-up visit by a town compliance officer.

She told the officer that she had been unaware of the Town of Hudson's zoning requirements or the neighbor complaints until the visit.

Since then, all of her chickens have been kept a coop, Bowman said, adding that when she informed her neighbors, none had any objections as long as the birds remain confined.

Chuck Nowlen

Chuck Nowlen joined the Star-Observer team as a business, township and general-assignment reporter in April, 2014 after a three-decade career in newspapers and magazines, and as a newsroom-management/business-planning consultant.

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