Roseville talks 2015 budget

At its Aug. 11 meeting, the Roseville City council held a public hearing on the proposed budget for next year. The proposed 2015 budget, recommended by city manager Pat Trudgeon, calls for a 4.9 percent levy increase, or $890,829 across the city.

The tax impact for "the typical single-family home" is $7.56 per month, Trudgeon said.

Trudgeon noted that half of that increase will go to replenishing city reserves that were drawn down in 2014. There are no plans to dip into the reserves in 2015.

The rest of the increase, he said, covers the cost of inflation.

Mayor Dan Roe added that the recovery of the housing market means many homes' values have increased, thus increasing property taxes.

"The overall value of ... all the properties [commercial and residential] in Roseville has gone up," Roe said. "Even if we didn't change the tax levy from last year, residential properties would see about a seven percent increase in their property tax."

Roe added that some years commercial properties gain value more quickly than residential properties, causing homeowners to have a lower increase in property taxes.

Three residents spoke at the public hearing.

Former mayor John Kysylyczyn offered comments on the proposed budget, stating that he did not approve of staff's "editorializing" on how a family might spend $72, the amount equal to the cost of property taxes each month to the average homeowner.

The passage in the agenda packet staff report reads, "[$72 is] comparable to what a home pays independently for gas, electric, cable tv, broadband internet, or mobile phone service."

"I object to the finance department staff injecting what I would ... consider a personal opinion into what is supposed to be a finance document," Kysylyczyn said, adding that he thought it was "totally inappropriate."

Two others, Dick Houck and Gary Grefenberg, also added commentary on the budget. 

Houck urged the council to be transparent with taxpayers about how their money would be spent.

"I don't think that this increase ... is necessary since we have such a large surplus -- you call it cash reserves, I call it surplus," Grefenberg said.

After the public hearing closed, council member Tammy McGehee addressed the need for the city to fix its infrastructure.

"... I will go back to the years of 2010 ... we went through a very long period of not funding our infrastructure and not paying properly to keep things maintained and sustainable," she said.

The city council plans to finalize the not-to-exceed tax levy at its Sept. 8 meeting in advance of the Sept. 30 deadline. The council may choose to lower the tax levy after that date, but may not go above the level it sets at that time.

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

 
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