The New Brighton City Council on Dec. 11 approved the final property tax levy and general fund budget for the 2019 fiscal year.

“The purpose of objectives of the 2019 budget is to create a financial document that represents the city’s vision – not just next year, but beyond,” said Finance Director Brenda Davitt. “It carries out our existing city directives.”

City staff continues to focus on the council’s strategic priorities when preparing the budget. These priorities include financial sustainability, community engagement, economic development, effective service, quality workforce engagement and development.

City Manager Dean Lotter recommended that the 2019 Budget be $32.07 million, of which $16.8 million is designed for property tax supported programs.

The proposed 2019 budget includes a proposed total city-wide tax levy of $9.51 million for taxes payable in 2019, which is a $851,940 or 9.84 percent increase from 2018.

According to Davitt, in 2028, the levy will be projected out to $15 million.  

“The increase in our levy, in this particular projection, is mainly based off of our street reconstruction program and adding a levy every year for our street reconstruction projects,” said Davitt.   

The 2019 general fund budget will receive 56 percent of its total revenues from property taxes.

Items representing the levy increase are $346,900 for the 2019 street reconstruction, a $202,800 decrease in street debt payments and a $100,000 transfer from LGA to continue funding for future street reconstructions.

Other noteworthy items include $139,000 for new personnel and $444,300 to recruit and retain employees, which also includes a three percent COLA, and comparable salary study position adjustment in addition to health care contributions and legislative police and fire PERA increases.

“In the next five years, as our baby boomers are retiring, the unfilled positions are going to be increasing from 60,000 to over 280,000,” said Davitt. “With this in place and in mind, and the ability to retain and recruit personnel for the city, it is really important that the city stays comparable within the market.”     

The city has also budgeted for all positions assuming they are filled 100 percent of the time.

In 2019, for every dollar that the city collects in the property tax levy, 45 cents goes to public safety, 20 cents goes to parks and recreation, 10 cents goes to debt service, 8 cents goes to administration, 5 cents goes to capital replacements programs, 3 cents goes to the finance department and 1 cent goes to the golf course.

There will be no separate specific tax levies for debt in 2019. Debt services requirements will be met with other financing sources.

The property tax impact on residents will vary depending on the property’s value and change in value relative to other properties in the city.

The median value of a home in New Brighton is estimated to increase 9 percent in 2019. The proposed budget will cost the median valued home approximately $927 a year, which is $85 more a year than 2018.

For residents that would benefit from tax relief, the State of Minnesota provides a number of programs that are designed to offset local tax increases. Depending on household income, residents could potentially receive a partial refund.

For a complete break down of the 2019 proposed budget, visit www.ci.new-brighton.mn.us/.

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