Cities approve preliminary tax levies

Area homes see increases in property value

Each of the four cities in the Review's coverage area -- Roseville, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale and Little Canada -- recently certified a preliminary tax levy for next year.

The proposed levies below are the maximum property-tax increases that can be implemented by the cities. While the amount of the levy cannot be increased once approved, it can be decreased between now and the Dec. 30 final approval deadline.

According to the Ramsey County assessor's office, the value of the median home in each city has increased since the depths of the Recession, which means property taxes will increase in 2015 even if city officials keep the levy flat.

Roseville

The Roseville City Council unanimously certified a 3.6 percent preliminary tax levy increase at its Sept. 8 meeting.

The increase will fund a city budget of $26,055,340, a 5.4 percent bump up from the 2014 budget.

According to a staff report, the additional levy funds will "help reduce the city's reliance on cash reserves ... cover a rise in human resource costs and pay for general inflationary cost increases of goods and materials."

The median valued home in Roseville in 2015 is $216,500, an 11 percent increase from 2014, according to the 2014 Ramsey County assessor's report. The owner of a median-valued home in Roseville would pay about $71.40 in property taxes each month in 2015, an increase of $6.54 per month from this year.

Additionally, the council adopted a preliminary tax levy increase for the Roseville Housing and Redevelopment Authority of 5.4 percent. In 2015, each owner of a median-valued home will pay an additional 33 cents each month for a total of $3.21.

The next city budget discussion is slated for Oct. 20. Residents are encouraged to watch future city council agendas for additional budget discussions.

Falcon Heights

Falcon Heights unanimously voted to keep the levy flat at its Sept. 10 council meeting. The preliminary 2015 tax levy will be $1,083,850.

Overall budget expenditures are expected to rise about 5.5 percent, or $98,047, in 2015. The majority of that increase, 4.3 percent, is due to increased public safety costs, like the addition of a part-time fire chief and buying into Ramsey County's upgraded dispatch system.

The median valued home in Falcon Heights in 2015 is $251,500, an 11.8 percent increase from 2014, according to the Ramsey County Assessor.

"The reason [the council] kept it flat is because our residential values went up by almost 12 percent," city administrator Bart Fischer explained. "That's a $41 increase [for the median valued home]. And that's just city taxes."

The owner of a median valued home in Falcon Heights can expect to pay about $556 in property taxes next year, if the levy is officially adopted in December.

The city will hold a public hearing on the budget on Dec. 10.

Lauderdale

Lauderdale city officials unanimously certified the 2015 preliminary tax levy at the Sept. 23 council meeting.

The total property-tax levy for 2015 would be $624,357, an increase of 1.3 percent from 2014.

City administrator Heather Butkowski said at the meeting that the city will use funds from fiscal disparities and local government aid to keep residents' portion -- $495,281 -- the same as last year.

According to the Ramsey County Assessor's 2014 report, the median valued home in Lauderdale in 2015 is $175,000, an increase of 7 percent from 2014.

A public hearing on the 2015 budget is set for Dec. 9.

Little Canada

At its Sept. 24 meeting, the Little Canada City Council unanimously certified a $2,892,327 total tax levy for 2015, a 3.5 percent increase from 2014.

The total levy includes a $2.67 million general fund budget as well as $157,200 infrastructure and $127,295 fire equipment funds.

The city will utilize fiscal disparity dollars to bring the increase down to about 3.23 percent.

The Ramsey County Assessor has stated the median valued home in Little Canada in 2015 is $216,950, a 6 percent increase from 2014.

A public hearing on the 2015 budget will be held at a Dec. 15 council meeting in lieu of the regularly scheduled Dec. 10 and Dec. 24 meetings.

Johanna Holub can be reached at jholub@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813. Follow her on Twitter @jholubnews.

 

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