The St. Louis Park City Council on Tuesday approved a preliminary 2013 tax levy that council members hope will help pay off debt on the city's and allow for future growth.
The figure approved by a 6-0 vote is $24,712,941, which is about a 4 percent increase from what was levied this year. Council won't set the final number until December, and it can lower—but not increase—the levy between now and then.
City staff recommended an increase in part to help pay down debt, particularly on the two new fire stations that opened this year for $15 million. The city is slated to pay $2 million toward debt services next year.
The tax levy also jumped about 4 percent between last year and this year, as again the city paid down $2 million in debt.
A 4 percent levy increase does not mean everyone's property taxes will be going up by 4 percent—or up at all. Property value fluctuations for individual homeowners come into play, and other entities—such as the county—also levy their own taxes.
Last year, about 20 percent of St. Louis Park homeowners saw their own property taxes go down. Seventy-six percent saw increases of between 0 and 9.9 percent.
What the numbers will look like this year isn't clear yet. The county will be mailing out tax notices to homeowners in November, and the city will be holding its annual truth-in-taxation hearing in early December, at which point the breakdown should be known.