Mayor John Dietz’s statement on the city budget

Click here to read more about Elk River’s budget and reaction to it.

Here is Mayor John Dietz’s statement on the budget, made Monday, Dec. 5 as the City Council voted 4-1 to approve the 2012 city budget and property tax levy:
“I thank the staff and the council for some very hard work on the budget. We all have a lot of different opinions concerning that budget.
When I campaigned for this position I told the residents that I would do my best to hold the line on taxes. Obviously I have not done a very good job so far and I apologize for that.
I am very concerned about the proposed 4 percent increase in our tax rate for 2012. To blame our issues on the state is the easy way out. Ultimately we are responsible for dealing with the hand we are given. The council has decided to make a few cuts but in my opinion did not go far enough.
This tax increase will have virtually no effect on residential properties because of the decrease in their market value.
The brunt of this increase will be borne by commercial properties in the city that are already strapped by the down economy.
That is the main reason I will be voting no on the proposed budget.