Lake Elmo residents will likely see an increase in their annual property taxes after the city council approved the 2020 preliminary tax levy at the Tuesday, Sept. 17 meeting.
The city council set the 2020 preliminary tax levy at $4,949,823, a $769,984 increase over the 2019 levy.
The proposed overall levy is based off of a 2% tax rate increase. The proposed 2020 tax rate is 23.395%, compared to the 2019 rate of 22.927%. According to the preliminary budget, the 2% tax rate increase was done to stabilize tax increases as the city pays for the new City Hall and Fire Station in 2023. The 2019 tax rate also increased 2% over the 2018 rate. The incremental tax rate increase over five years will allow the city to pay cash for the new City Hall and Fire Station without bonding.
The preliminary 2020 general fund expenditures and revenues each total $5,992,916. The total debt levy in the preliminary 2020 budget is set at $1,587,120, compared to the 2019 debt levy of $1,215,932.
According to the preliminary budget, the market value of homes in Lake Elmo will increase from 2019 to 2020. A home with a market value of $190,500 in 2019 increases to $200,000 in 2020. That home’s annual property taxes would also increase from $390.85 in 2019 to $422.98 in 2020.
Under state law, the levy can be lowered but not raised before council passes the final tax levy and budget in December.
The Truth in Taxation Hearing will be 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at Lake Elmo City Hall, located at 3800 Laverne Ave. N.