Ramsey’s 2021 property tax levy is up about half a million dollars, or 4%, over 2020.

But at just over $13 million, the final levy approved by the City Council last month is about $124,000 lower than the preliminary levy adopted earlier in the year.

The increase over 2020 is driven by spending in three areas: Existing personnel costs, such as cost of living adjustments and retirements, make up 60% of the increase. Another 33.5% goes to new personnel requests. The remaining 6.5% is from increases to the debt levy because of the public works facility, according to city staff.

New personnel include a part-time police records technician, a full-time patrol officer and a full-time parks maintenance worker.

Both the general fund and debt service levies increased this year. The general fund levy increase by almost $484,000 to $11.15 million. The debt service levies increased by $33,713 to almost $1.8 million. But the EDA levy decreased by $16,053 to $75,360.

The general fund budget is $14.4 million, an increase of approximately 8%. About $619,000 of the general fund increase is from the purchase of additional capital equipment, funded through means other than the levy, Finance Director Diana Lund said.

Property taxes make up about 77% of Ramsey’s income. Fines, interest and “other” make up 11%, and the rest is divided between charges for service, intergovernmental funds and licenses and permits.

Personnel costs make up 66.5% of Ramsey’s budgeted expenses in 2021. Services account for 18.4%, with capital outlay, supplies and others making up the rest.

Capital costs are a larger portion of expenditures in 2021, thanks to a new plow, a sidewalk machine, a mower and the second half of payment for a fire truck, Lund said.

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