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City's share of taxes will go up this year

For the first time since 2008, Rosemount home owners will see the city’s share of their taxes go up.

The Rosemount City Council approved a 1.55 percent increase in the city’s tax levy for 2014 during their regular meeting Dec. 3. The increase means the city’s share of taxes will go up by $19 on a median-value home.

A median valued home in Rosemount is estimated at $203,050 and the taxes assessed would be $879. According to a staff memo to the council the increase is less than the rate of inflation for the past year.

City administrator Dwight Johnson noted that the city’s share of taxes is still down from what it once was.

For the last five years the city council was able to manage tax decreases. The city has reduced taxes on the median home by $179 since 2008.

For the first time in four or five years, Johnson said, property values are on the rise. According to the staff memo residential property values are up 3.76 percent.

Throughout the budgeting process, Johnson said the goal was to develop the most conservative budget possible while still meeting the city council’s goals. He said in creating the budget city staff looked at keeping the city’s level of service, ensuring the city’s long range financial outlook and balancing not only between revenues and expenditures but internally among personnel, equipment, technology, operating needs and capital expenditures.

Long term, Johnson said they tried to make sure things are getting taken care of now so future city council’s don’t have to make tough decisions.

Over the last few years the city has taken on some ambitious capital improvements that account for some of the increased costs. The budget includes a new senior center and athletic fields coming on line. Also this year the city council looked at the city’s existing amenities and what would need to be replaced and improved upon, such as playground equipment.

Starting in 2014, the city will no longer have to pay state sales tax. Johnson said that will result in about $90,000 cost savings to the city. Johnson said the city’s happy to see the sales tax go as it essentially was government taxing government.

Before approving the final budget the city council held a public hearing to take comment. No one spoke. City finance director Jeff May said no one had contacted him about the budget either. The council approved the 5-0.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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