The St. Louis Park council held its first discussion on 2014 property taxes Monday, showing support for the city staff’s recommendation of a 3.5 percent, $864,967 increase in the levy.
The council is expected to vote on a preliminary property tax levy on Sept. 4. The preliminary figure approved in September can be revised downward but not upward.
“It’s like negotiating the price of a used car,” mayor Jeff Jacobs said.
City staff proposed a $25,577,908 levy for 2014. The 3.5 percent levy increase would correlate to a roughly $35 increase in property taxes for an average-priced home worth about $210,000.
City staff also proposed a $949,359 HRA levy, a 5.38 percent increase over 2013, the maximum increase allowable by law. HRA levies will play a big role over the next five or six years in funding the Highway 7 and Louisiana Avenue interchange project.
During a Monday evening work session, council members asked staff whether additional funding should be budgeted for litigation over light-rail, for further study of a community center or for fairly compensating staff.
“We’re asking a lot of our staff, and I want to make sure we’re staying competitive so we can retain our good staff,” council member Anne Mavity said. “I think it’s really important that we compensate our staff well.”
Sept. 3: Council establishes 2014 preliminary property tax levies. (Can be reduced in the future, not increased for final property tax levy.)
Oct. 14: Review and discussion of 2014 budget, CIP, utility rates and LRFMP. Directors present as needed.
Nov. 12: Final budget discussion prior to Truth in Taxation Public Hearing.
Dec. 2: Truth in Taxation Public Hearing.Dec. 16: Council adopts 2014 budget, final property tax levies, CIP and utility rates.