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Paynesville Press - October 25, 2006

Proposed city tax levy,
budget to increase in 2007

By Michael Jacobson

Both the city of Paynesville's tax levy and budget are proposed to increase in 2007, based on the preliminary levy and budget passed by the city council last month.

City Budget

The city is required to approve a preliminary levy and budget by mid-September in order to report it to the county auditor to figure preliminary property tax rolls for the coming year. The city budgeting process, though, really starts with this preliminary levy and budget, which is frequently reduced by the time the city passes its final budget and levy in December.

The city's preliminary levy calls for property taxes of $506,010 in 2007, an increase in the city levy by 4.5 percent from 2006.

The preliminary city budget, meanwhile, increased to $1.72 million, up 10.5 percent from 2006, when the city budget was $1.56 million.

The city council is currently reviewing the city budget for 2007 during a series of special meetings. The final budget and levy - presented at a truth-in-taxation hearing in December and then passed by the council - can be lower than the preliminary amounts, but cannot be greater without a direct vote of city residents.

City officials also continue to negotiate with the new unionized city staff - divided into three union groups (supervisory, essential (police), and general employees). Contract settlements with these three groups will be a key component to next year's city budget.

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