I live just south of Beaver Dam - it would probably be my last choice in looking for work. My in-laws have their doctors there and my husband and myself have never been happy with the care either has received. They just built a new hospital that has smaller exam rooms and no additional procedures (or at least not anything really impressive, like open hearts or anything). I believe they were asking employees to voluntarily contribute to the cost of the new facility, that just rubs me the wrong way!
WI is overflowing with nurses right now, tough to find a spot. If you have to stay in the Beaver Dam area, at least find a home close to 151, then you have better access to Madison and Fond du Lac.
I don't think crime in BD is too bad, especially since every shopper in the Pig has their purse in their cart and is 3 aisles over from it, LOL. Can't speak on school quality - no kids, but stay out of Dodgeville school district - they built a humongo school about 10 years ago (for $17 mil) which is pretty empty, but of course we still have to pay for it. Grades K-12 in one building, not sure how comfortable I'd be with that if I had kids there. Just read taxes on that school district to go up almost 10%. Our property tax has increased 80% in the 9 years we have been here, so I am really looking forward to this year's bill!
As for other taxes - we pay through the nose and get pretty much nothing, at least rurally. There are no caps on any taxes in the state and they pretty much do what they want. There are no watchdogs and no one seems to think anything of getting a hefty hike on their property taxes each year. State tax is prorated to income, so you may find yourself forking out 8%+. Pensions count as income and are state taxable (except Milw. Police and teachers - who made up that rule?), except when you try to use them for the married workers credit, then they don't count as income since they're not earned. It's like the old western towns where they make their own rules. I think there's corruption up the ying yang, and that's saying something since I'm from Chicago, LOL.
And if you smoke, we are now the 5th highest taxes in the country - cartons of name brands are $65-72. Especially disconcerting since the wage base really does not support that.
My husband (born and raised in WI, left when he was 18 and came back when he retired) is so disgruntled, he told me when he dies, I should pound the For Sale sign in the ground on the way to his funeral!