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HomeAppleton Concerned TaxpayersHigh and Low Lights of the 2023 Appleton Budget

High and Low Lights of the 2023 Appleton Budget

Appleton Concerned Taxpayers have extrapolated Appleton City Budget data annually since
2010. The following comments refer to that data, presented in the Excel spreadsheet here: Appleton Budget Analysis 2010-2023

Let’s start with highlights:

  • The Revenues minus Expenditures for 2021 have been revised to show a budget surplus for the year 2021. This was primarily due to American Rescue Plan money and Capital Project delays. Unfortunately, however, this did not help the Debt Service problem, which remained at 26.9% of General Fund spending.
  • Social Security recipients actually received a higher increase (8.7%) than the increase in tax levy (6.6%). This has only happened four times since 2010.
  • The year 2022 showed the highest revenue for the city since 2010. Again, American Rescue Plan money impacted this number.

Next, let’s illuminate concerns:

  • General Funds used to service debt hit 35.6% in 2023. This represented a 21.5% increase over 2022 and 535.7% increase since 2010. Ouch!
  • The 2023 City levy increased 6.6%, representing the highest levy increase since we started tracking in 2010.
  • This Budget also cites the highest projected deficit spending amount since 2010.


  • A few years ago, the city changed the wording on the chart showing Debt Servicing. Previously included was a line titled “40% Debt Limit” which had been set by former City Councils. This label now reads: “40% Debt Target”. A change in philosophy perhaps? City leaders tout the Debt Service number has peaked, with future years showing a decline in this number.
  • The city leadership has stayed the course with Library Capital Project commitments to honor the $28.6 million taxpayer contribution limit set at the onset of the project.
  • Much of the City borrowing supports a rash of Capital Projects over the past 5 years with infrastructure projects falling behind, requiring borrowing.

All Counties, Municipalities, Townships, Villages and Cities are facing similar problems. Appleton Concerned Taxpayers has advocated heavily with our State Leaders: the time is now to rectify the State Shared Revenue problem.



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