I'm sharing a data tool that I love geeking out over. It's the municipal datatool where you can review any Wisconsin city's finances and compare them to other cities.
Many business owners are accustomed to working with budgets and continually looking at financial projections and forecasts to make sure their fiscal position is sound today and in the future. And if they're not, they should be! This tool can show you where Monona stack's up next to other cities.
It's important for elected officials to remain vigilant in keeping our fiscal house is in order. We are responsible for delivering basic city services at an affordable price with reasonable taxation. This tool will allow you to make your own determinations. I think we can do better. What do you think?
Step by step instructions are below. I've included several screen shots of this tool in action.
Step 1. Click on a black icon that you want to learn more about. The options are Property Taxes, Municipal Spending, Debt, Fund Balance, Shared Revenue/Property Values, Income and Population.
Step 2. In the upper left, select City of Monona from the drop down menu. You'll see a bar graph that shows what our trends are.
Step 3. Click on any of the six black icons to view our basic spending, operating spending, fire/ems, police, general government, and street maintenance. Here you can see trends in our spending over the past five years.
Step 3. Now you want to compare us to other comparable cities in our area. Select the button that says "Click for Custom Comparison."
Step 4. In the upper left, select some similar sized cities. I've chosen Verona, Stoughton, McFarland, Oregon, Deforest, Waunakee, Cottage Grove, and Monona.
Step 5. Click on the black outlined boxes on the left to see where we stack up. The top one says General Government.