tax levy mt

Residents in the city of Monticello shouldn’t be looking for any financial relief on their city tax bill in 2022.

The city is looking at a possible 2.7 percent increase in its 2022 tax levy after approving its preliminary levy Monday, Sept. 27.

Finance Director Sarah Rathlisberger said the proposed 2.7 percent levy increase is not set in stone. The figure is the highest amount the city can levy. Come December when the 2022 city budget is officially approved, the proposed levy can be decreased following the annual truth-in-taxation hearings in December.

The Council approved a general fund tax levy of $11,353,000 $11,063,700. That’s a $289,300 increase- or 2.6 percent- over the final 2021 levy set in December 2020. 

The 2022 preliminary levy represents the third consecutive year the tax levy has exceeded the $10 million mark.

Under the proposed 2022 levy, the City is earmarking $7.47 million for the general fund and $485,000 for the operations of the Monticello Community Center. The general fund allocation represents a 4.3 percent increase over 2021, while the community center operating costs will remain the same as in 2021.

The City is allocating $2.31 million to retiring debt incurred by bonds, as well as $1.08 million in capital projects.

Rathlisberger noted that the preliminary levy was set assuming a slight decrease in tax capacity based on preliminary market value of property within the City of Monticello. The final market value figures have not yet been released by Wright County, Rathlisberger said. In addition, a $1.1 million valuation decrease of Xcel Energy’s Monticello property was figured into the equation.

Because Xcel’s value decreased and residential values increased more than commercial, residents will see a larger increase in their property taxes than the percentage of increase in the city’s tax levy, Rathlisberger said.

Impacting the City’s tax base is an increase in residential property values $60.6 million. Apartment market values have increased $18.8 million, and commercial properties increased in value by $2.11 million. In addition, there has been $9.985 million in new residential construction, $2.089 million in new commercial construction, and $13.711 million is apartment construction.

In other action related to the 2021 tax levy, the Council approved the 2021 EDA levy of $388,000. The EDA levy is a 5.9 percent increase over the $366,300 levy set in 2021. 

The two levies together represent a $311,000 or 2.7 percent increase over the prior year, according to data provided by city staff.

Reach Jeff Hage at jeff.hage@ecm-inc.com

 

Editor

Jeff Hage is the managing editor of the Monticello Times. He majored in journalism at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

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