Committee works to remedy special assessments

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Starting next year, Green Bay homeowners will no longer face thousands of dollars worth of bills to fix up the roads in front of their homes due to a wheel tax.

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But, there are many who have already paid thousands in special assessments.

"I've had several people call me and ask if they can get reimbursement," said Alderwoman, Kathy Lefebvre.

Lefebvre made a motion to reimburse homeowner who have paid or are currently paying for special assessments.

"The residents will have to pay the special assessment and then next year they will pay the $20 a year per vehicle wheel tax," said Lefebvre.

However, after a conversation with Public Works Director, Steve Grenier, she realized it wasn't a viable option.

"The wheel tax, the money won't start right away, it will take a year to build up money with that, that will go to new projects so the city doesn't have the money to help them with reimbursement."

Grenier said it's almost impossible to decide how far back to go and whom the money would go back to.

"Who do you reimburse? There's a surprising number of people where properties have changed hands over the past year. So, folks who paid that special assessment have moved on to somewhere else," said Grenier.

"In theory, it's a great sentiment to help these folks out, but from a from a practical standpoint, there's some big issues that need to be overcome."

Instead, Grenier said he may be able to do something else for homeowners this year by giving them a new repayment option to repay over ten years instead of five years.

Grenier says it would impact his future budget and capital program, but he would be able to manage it for one year.

"We would be in a position that I could support that," said Grenier.

Lefebvre plans to make this motion at the next committee meeting.

"At least some relief, I know it's not what a lot of people would like, or what I would like, but we have to be realistic. There's only so much money to go around."