The Rosemount City Council approved a preliminary tax levy increase of 3.91 percent for 2018.
The proposed increase would lead to a $34 increase from last year’s taxes on the median value home of $261,550 in 2018.
The exact amount will vary due to different property values increases. There’s been a 6.3 percent increase in taxable market value due to Rosemount’s growth and an estimated 5.1 percent increase to the market value of the median home in Rosemount since last year.
Jeff May, city finance director, said “my guess is that most folks are looking at a small increase or a small decrease, a lot of it will be dependent on other factors.”
The public hearing of the 2018 levy and budget is Dec. 5. The levy can be decreased at this point, but not increased.
Mayor Bill Droste was concerned about possible significant tax increases in the long term.
“The reality is we are growing city operations significantly faster than our population is growing,” Droste said.
Council Member Jeff Weisensel was concerned about tax impact enough that he voted no on the preliminary levy and budget. He also requested that the city use less of the SKB Environmental revenues for general operating expenses.
“I’m concerned about the SKB revenues kind of being robbed for operations,” Weisensel said of the revenue, which has been used in the past for both operational and capital costs. Last year’s transfer to the general fund was $100,000.
The budget and levy were approved 4-1.
The city is projecting new housing construction, so building permit revenue is projected to increase in the next year.
Much of the budget increase is due to hiring of additional employees.
The budget adds a full-time patrol officer in March, and promotes a police officer to detective.
The budget also calls for an increase in part-time hours for an IT Specialist, and for the Steeple Center recreation coordinator to help market and book more paid events.
The city is also considering adding or contracting for an economic development specialist.
City Administrator Logan Martin said the budget has set the city up for current salary negotiations for labor contract negotiations.
Next year’s budget also reflects an increase capital improvement project funds in the public works department for building, parking lot and park maintenance along with crack sealing.