Local cities approve 2014 tax levies, budgets

Most Bulletin-area cities have approved budgets and set property tax levies for next year. 

The Vadnais Heights City Council adopted its 2014 budget and tax levy on Wednesday, Dec. 4, and the cities of Mounds View, New Brighton, Arden Hills and St. Anthony Village each approved their final budgets and levies last week. The city of Shoreview was expected to approve its budget and tax levy on Dec. 16, which is after the Bulletin’s press time.

Local cities approved slight levy increases, with the exception of New Brighton, where the city council voted to decrease the 2014 levy by 6.8 percent from this past year’s.

New Brighton

At its Dec. 10 meeting, the New Brighton City Council approved a property tax levy of $6,794,308 and a general fund budget of $12,995,400. The 6.8 percent levy decrease over 2013 is due to the council’s decision to give the entire $493,000 in Local Government Aid expected in 2014 back to residents in the form of property tax relief, New Brighton Finance Director Dan Maiers said.

The average homeowner in the city should expect to pay around $680 for the city’s portion of property taxes next year, $65 less than this year. That figure, Maiers said, is based on a taxable median home value of $197,000 going into 2014. According to Ramsey County’s assessment, that is a $300 decrease in the median value from this time last year.

Prior to this year’s reduction, the city of New Brighton’s property tax levy has remained flat for the past four years.

Mounds View

In neighboring Mounds View, the city council approved a 2014 general fund budget of $5,943,985 and a property tax levy of $4,265,010 at last week’s council meeting. 

Next year’s levy represents a 2 percent increase over 2013. Mounds View saw a 3.16 percent decrease in the taxable median home value from 2013, Mark Beer, the city’s finance director said.

The average market value for a single-family home is currently $134,464, according to Ramsey County’s assessment. 

He said although there is a slight levy increase, the amount the average homeowner pays in the city’s portion of property taxes should actually go down, due to the city’s TIF (tax increment financing) District One decertifying at the end of 2013. The decertification of TIF District One will add increased tax capacity for the city, Beer said.

St. Anthony Village

The St. Anthony City Council approved the $6,236,200 general fund budget for 2014, along with a tax levy of just over $5.6 million.

St. Anthony Village’s City Manager Mark Casey said the 3.8 percent levy increase of $206,218 is for the city’s ongoing road improvements project. The general fund levy and the HRA (Housing and Redevelopment Authority) levy, he noted, are the same as last year.

Casey said the average homeowner in the Village could expect to pay about $1,424 in city property taxes next year. That amount is based on a median home value of $208,000, which Casey said is a 5 percent increase from the average market home value in the city at this time last year. 

Arden Hills

The Arden Hills City Council approved its 2014 general fund operating budget of $4,411,070 and a $3,257,456 property tax levy. The 2014 levy represents a 2.08 percent increase of $66,226 over 2013.

Like St. Anthony Village, Arden Hills also saw median home values increase this year. Arden Hills’ City Administrator Patrick Klaers said the average market value for a single-family home in the city is currently $264,700, which is 2.8 percent higher than last year. Based on that value, a homeowner will pay $22.64 more in the city’s portion of property taxes next year.

Vadnais Heights

The Vadnais Heights City Council approved the city’s 2014 property tax levy of $3,686,463 and a general fund-operating budget of just under $5,175,000. The 2.98 percent levy increase will mean the city will collect $166,047 more next year in property taxes than it did in 2013.

Vadnais Heights’ Finance Director Bob Sundberg said even with the slight levy increase, most homeowners would see a decrease of just over $6.30 in what they pay in property taxes over 2013. He said this is due to a minimal levy increase and the fact that commercial properties and apartment complexes have not seen a decline in value like single-family homes have in the city, which directly impacts property tax liabilities. The median value for a single-family home in the city dropped by about 1.8 percent in market value in 2014, making for an average taxable value of $209,509.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824.

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