The Finance Department has an important role in assuring that the city remains financially responsible by providing high-quality, cost-effective services:
- Assisting the City Council and City Administrator in developing the budget and future financial plans.
- Providing monthly and annual financial reports to assist staff and the City Council in monitoring budgeted expenditures.
- Safeguarding the city’s financial assets through safe and prudent investing and accurate accounting.
- Billing residents and businesses for water, sewer, storm drainage, and street lighting utilities.
2021 Budget adopted December 14, 2020
In September 2020, Council set a preliminary levy of $26,356,258. Under MN statutes, the final levy cannot exceed the preliminary amount. Between September and December, the city was able to reduce General Fund needs by $232,900 to arrive at a new levy figure of $26,123,358.
Compared to the previous year’s levy, this is an increase of $1,392,474 (or 5.63%) over 2020. $500,000 of the increase is due to increased funding for the City’s Pavement Management program.
Council held their annual Truth in Taxation meeting on Monday, December 14, 2020 to consider setting final budgets and tax levies and give the public a final opportunity to provide any feedback. After a presentation and discussion, Council approved a final levy of $26,123,358. Citywide details by fund are as follows:
$ 21,006,200 General Fund
2,250,000 Pavement Management
2,867,158 Debt Service
Given the continued market value growth within the city, the city’s tax rate is estimated to decrease by as much as 2% in 2021.
The city’s 2021 General Fund budget was set at $25,296,800. 51% of the General Fund budget is allocated to public safety, 17% to public works, 14% to general government, 11% to culture and recreation, and 7% to community development. Personnel costs make up 65% of the General Fund’s total budget followed by purchased services and equipment at 21%.
Budgets were also adopted for the city’s Special Revenue Funds, Debt Service Funds, Capital Project Funds, Enterprise Funds, and Internal Service Funds.
Full details for the 2021 budget and property tax levy can be found in the Final 2021 Budget Book.
Final 2021 Draft Budget
Council met on July 27, August 24 and September 8, 2020 to review and revise the proposed 2021 budget and levy. The agendas and video footage from each meeting discussion can be found below for your review:
- July 27, 2020 Council Meeting
- Aug. 24, 2020 Council Meeting
- Sept. 8, 2020 Council Work Session
On September 14, 2020, the City Council discussed the proposed general fund budget and tax levy:
During the September 14 meeting, the Council adopted three resolutions related to the 2021 budget:
- Resolution adopting proposed 2021 General Fund Budget
- Resolution adopting proposed property tax levy for tax year 2021
- Resolution adopting proposed watershed management taxing district tax levy for tax year 2021
Council also set the time and place where the preliminary budget and levy will be discussed, and the final budget and levy determined for December 14, 2020 at 7 p.m. The public is encouraged to participate at this meeting. See details above.
The current proposed tax levy for 2021 is $26,435,652. This is a 6.6% increase (or $1,625,375) over 2020. Most of this increase can be attributed to ongoing wage and benefit obligations as well as a $500,000 increase to pavement management funding for 2021.
However, market values and new construction growth in the community remain strong. Market values have increased 6.7% over 2020 values which means that the proposed increase provides just a small change to the City’s tax rate – a 0.11% increase.
The proposed 2021 General Fund Budget was set at $25,500,700. This represents a decrease of $941,130 from the 2020 budget. Most departments reflect small operational increases for staffing costs or contract adjustments.
However, it is important to note that Transfers Out was reduced significantly ($2,370,000 in 2020 to $655,000 in 2021). This was due to a shift in how the levy contribution for Pavement Management is recorded. Rather than recording Pavement Management as a transfer out, it will show up as its own operating levy within the budget documents. This should provide better transparency as to how property owners, through their property tax payments, support this program.
On October 5 and Nov. 2, the City Council had a discussion on Non-General Fund Budgets
- Oct. 5, 2020 Council Work Session
- Nov. 2, 2020 Council Work Session
On Dec. 7, the City Council had a final review of the proposed 2021 budget during their Work Session:
Preliminary 2021 Budget - additional details can be found here:
- Preliminary Tax Levy Comparison
- Preliminary Tax Capacity Rate Estimates
- Market Value & Tax Capacity Comparisons
- General Fund – Revenue & Expenditure Proposed Budgets
- September 14, 2020 Resolutions
Should you have any questions about the 2021 budget or tax levy process, please reach out to Finance Director Amy Hove at 651-450-2521 or firstname.lastname@example.org.