Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Dane County Executive Signs 2019 Dane County Budget

November 14, 2018
Casey Slaughter Becker, 608-267-8823
County Executive

$630.1 Million Proposal Invests in Key Priorities While Reducing Property Taxes


MADISON – Dane County Executive, joined by Dane County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Corrigan, and Dane County Board Members, signed the 2019 Dane County Budget Wednesday. The $630.1 million proposal will lower property taxes while investing in a number of key areas including criminal justice reform, mental health services, housing, and youth trauma.


Parisi’s budget proposal, released in October, made historic investments in flood recovery and resilience, infrastructure, and mental health crisis response.


“With this budget Dane County continues to lead by example with our shared values,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “We’ve taken steps to improve our quality of life, increase opportunity for all, and invest in our infrastructure, all while reducing property taxes.”


The Dane County Board built on Parisi’s proposal by including additional funding for front-end justice initiatives, affordable housing, and lake health. 


“The County Board really listened to the residents of Dane County and worked hard on their behalf,” said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan. “Individuals were able to testify at 3 public hearings of the full County Board as well as 17 committee meetings dedicated to review of the 2019 budget.  Supervisors also heard from their constituents throughout the process via phone calls, email, and social media.  We started with a strong budget proposed by the County Executive and, with community input, crafted a spending plan that earned a unanimous vote from the County Board.”

The 2019 Dane County budget increases the operating portion of the county levy by 0.8%, the lowest since 1991. The county share of property taxes on the average Madison home is estimated to decline $8.10 under this budget proposal. The operating budget totals $558.6 million, and the capital budget is $71.5 million, bringing the total budget to $630.1 million.


“The 2019 budget addresses clear needs in the Dane County community while actually lowering the property tax burden on the average homeowner,” said Supervisor Patrick Miles, Chair of the Personnel and Finance Committee of the County Board.  “We are fortunate to live in a county with strong growth in our tax base. But we recognize that economic prosperity is not equally shared and focused the budget on helping youth, immigrants, and the homeless,” he added.

Highlighted 2019 Budget Initiatives Include:


Flood Recovery and Lake Health


·         $3 million in capital spending to improve water flow in the Yahara River, and other “pinch points,” enabling water to move more quickly out of Dane County’s entire chain of lakes during and after high rainfall events.

·         A $1 million matching grant for park and trail repair, as well as a $500,000 stream bank restoration fund to help communities recover, reduce future erosion, and promote a healthy habitat for fish and other wildlife.

·         The creation of a new $750,000 program that will pay farmers and property owners to convert portions of their lands to permanent cover to keep water where it lands.

·         An additional $9 million to permanently secure properties that will improve the county’s ability to reduce stormwater run-off and improve water quality in key areas.

·         $12,500 to model algae-causing phosphorus’ flow into Dane County’s lakes.

Front-End Criminal Justice Reform


·         $350,000 to reduce the overall population of the Dane County Jail through pre-trial assessment, bail monitoring, and a stress assessment of the County’s criminal justice system.

·         $30,000 to support violence prevention at LaFollete High School in Madison.

·         $125,000 to support Safe Communities’ Emergency Department to Recovery, Jail to Recovery, and Pregnancy to Recovery programs that help individuals get the treatment they need for opiate addiction.

Mental Health Services


·         $320,000 to expand the emergency mobile mental crisis program created two years ago, and coordinated by Journey Mental Health. The additional funding will help mental health crisis staff respond to an emergency 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

·         The addition of the Monona Grove School district as the 11th school-based mental health location for the “Building Bridges” program.

·         $25,000 to continue crisis intervention training of law enforcement and organizations that work with vulnerable populations provided by NAMI-Dane County.


Homeless and Housing Services

·         $6 million in capital funding to increase the development of affordable housing through the Dane County Affordable Housing Development Fund.

·         $80,000 to fund rapid re-housing support for veterans experiencing homelessness and individuals who are chronically homeless.

·         Nearly $200,000 to continue operation of Safe Haven, and $40,000 to continue the operation of the Off The Square Club, critical day supports for individuals with mental illness who are also experiencing homelessness.

·         $239,000 for The Beacon Day Resource Center for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

·         $70,000 to support community housing navigation services, including one full-time position to work with youth ages 18 – 24.

·         $60,000 to bolster supportive services at the Rethke Terrace Apartments for individuals who have experienced homelessness.

Support for Youth and Families


·         Four additional positions in the County’s Neighborhood Intervention Unit, including staff to assist in addressing youth trauma, and the prevention of sex trafficking.

·         $175,000 to create two new social workers who will work with families with children ages 5 and younger who workers will connect families who have been referred to Dane County Human Services for child neglect to stabilizing community resources, including employment, housing, and other enhancement services in the Early Childhood Zones and Dane County’s Joining Forces for Families service areas.

·         $30,000 to purchase a van for the County’s Land and Water Resources Department. Transportation to county parks has proven a barrier to a youth volunteer program established in 2018. Other programs and events related to community engagement would have use of the van, including watershed tours and committee tours.



·         $22 million for new road projects in 2019 – a record high for Dane County

·         $20 million for a modernization and expansion project of the Dane County Regional Airport’s Terminal.


·         $250,000 to complete a pre-design study for the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center as well as a storm water run-off analysis for the site.  This continues the work to redevelop this important county asset.


The 2019 Dane County budget will take effect on January 1st of 2019. More information can be found online at