Local Gov't Accountability Roundup 12/8/11

MARSHALL: Business Owners Speak Out Against City Property Tax Increase Protest letters from some 30 business owners were presented to the city council, opposing the latest proposed city property tax hike. The city wants a 2.2 percent increase in the city levy, but business owners said they’ve had it with higher property tax increases in recent years and higher utility rates.

NEW ULM: City Council Discusses Non-Union Worker Pay Raise  A motion to increase non-union worker pay by 3 percent to reach the same level as union workers generated considerable debate at a city council meeting. Non-union city employees have received significantly smaller wage increases than union workers in previous years, including a wage freeze last year.

CHANHASSEN: Counties Explore Taxpayer Savings by Merging 911 Centers Carver and Scott counties are discussing merging their emergency call centers. It might take a few years to plan the technical system, but a recently completed state-funded $125,000 study points the way to a consolidation. One commissioner is hopeful the merger could save taxpayers up to half a million dollars annually. 

PIERZ: Miscalculation Adds up to Lower School Property Tax Levy Morrison county officials apparently passed along the wrong numbers for the school portion of Pierz property taxes for next year. State education officials then inserted the highest possible levy increase for truth in taxation notice amounts. Bottom line: an early present for Pierz taxpayers.

ROSEMOUNT: Local Portion of Property Taxes Declines for Surprising Reason Much has been written about the impact of the controversial elimination of the Market Value Homestead Credit aid program. As it turns out, however, phasing out the credit allowed Rosemount to zero out $429,507 from its levy, a big factor in holding down local property taxes. The city council approved a budget that will lead to a $35 dip in the city part of property taxes for average homeowners. Declining market values for homes also contributed to the lower levy.


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