Roseville School Board, Little Canada City Council approve 2014 property tax levies

The 2014 property tax levies for School District 623 and the city of Little Canada were approved last week.

The Roseville School Board approved the school district’s 2014 property tax levy at its Tuesday, Dec. 17 meeting.

District business manager Shari Thompson presented information on the levy and current budget year at the truth in taxation hearing prior to the regular board meeting.

The school board approved the $23.8 million property tax levy, which Thompson noted is $3.5 million less than the maximum levy allowed by state law. The 2014 levy represents an increase of about $1.3 million, or about 6 percent, over the 2013 levy.

Thompson noted that the operating levy approved by voters in November did not increase the property tax levy that was approved by the board. She explained the majority of the increase was due to “back levy adjustments” from the two previous school years when actual resident enrollment was higher than initially projected.

Two residents spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting to express concerns with rising taxes. The impact of the levy increase on residents in the district may vary depending on property valuation changes set by the county, Thompson said. 

“The impact on individual homes can be more or less than the market increase,” Thompson noted, adding that the Roseville School District continues to have a lower tax burden than any other district in Ramsey County.

The board voted unanimously to approve the 2014 property tax levy.

“I think we were pretty intentional of wanting to make this as painless as possible,” said Board Member Lisa Edstrom, noting that the board approved the levy at $3.5 million less than the preliminary levy that was approved in September. That $3.5 million decrease was achieved through deferring outstanding abatements, reducing  the alternative facilities projects levy, and waiving health and safety levy authority for the year.

Superintendent John Thein noted that he appreciates the board’s approval of the levy.

“I think it’s good for our kids,” Thein said. “We want to keep our taxes level and the burden as reasonable as we can.”

City of Little Canada

The Little Canada City Council approved the city’s 2014 budget and property tax levy at its Wednesday, Dec. 18 meeting.

The council approved a total budget of $15 million, which city administrator Joel Hanson noted was higher than previous years due to the inclusion of funding for a new public works facility that will be built in 2014 and other one-time capital improvement projects.

Hanson said officials made the decision to finance the public works facility project rather than draw down cash balances in the interest of long-term planning.

“We think from a cash flow standpoint long-term we’re going to be ahead of the game,” Hanson said. “We think at the rate we can borrow today that makes more sense.”

The city’s general fund budget for 2014 was set at $3.2 million, which Hanson noted was up 5.8 percent from 2013.

The city council approved a property tax levy for 2014 at just under $2.8 million, which is a 3 percent increase over the 2013 levy but drops to an 1.8 percent increase when fiscal disparities are taken into account.

Hanson noted that residents could see a minimal increase in property taxes in 2014 if there is no valuation change to their property.

Alex Holmquist can be reached at aholmquist@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813. Follow her on Twitter @AlexHolmquist.
 

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