Kay Mattson presented the preliminary levy for 2020 during the Rush City Council meeting Sept. 23.

According to the preliminary figures, general fund expenditures went up $118,124 from $1,678,396 in 2019 to $1,796,520 in 2020. General fund revenue also increased from $1,226,864 to $1,311,621 in 2020. This leaves a general fund levy of $484,899.

Debt service levy is $120,101 and EDA levy of $25,000 with a total levy of $630,000. The market value increased from $1,308,855 to $1,490,000 and the tax rate went down from 45.36% to 42.28%.

This means that for residents who have had little or no increase in property value, they will see a flat tax or a lower tax for the city portion of their taxes. The preliminary levy was passed unanimously.

Mattson said cities are required to turn in the preliminary levy to the county by Sept. 30. But it is not the final levy. There will be another budget meeting, likely in December, where the levy could be decreased or kept the same.

Mattson said people often ask what their taxes pay for.

In Rush City it includes 23% general government (city council, administration, financial and legal services, licensing, elections, planning-zoning); 38% public safety (police, fire, building permits, civil defense and animal control); 22% public works (street maintenance, snow removal and engineering); 7% culture and recreation (aquatic pool, community appreciation night, parks, library); 10% an airport.

First-time homebuyers program

City Administrator Amy Mell approached the council about participating in the first-time homebuyers program through Minnesota Housing. Mell shared information on the program: “By partnering with Minnesota Housing, eligible first-time buyers in participating cities will have access to an affordable start-up loan program and down payment and closing cost loans up to $15,000. Minnesota Housing can connect cities to approved lenders and help cities market this opportunity to homebuyers.”

Mell said, “We participated in this quite a few years ago ... Is it something we want to do again?”

The council said yes, with Mayor Dan Dahlberg adding that with the new assisted living facility coming to town, older homes that would be good starter homes might be coming on the market.

In other news:

• Walker Methodist, who manages the current Rushseba Landing senior apartments and will manage the assisted living facility Rushseba Station, approached the council about renting the small community room for an office the month of March 2020 and the first couple weeks of April. This office will serve as a rental office and hiring center for the upcoming Rushseba Station.

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