Local governments set preliminary property tax levies

It’s that time of year when local governments began finalizing their budgets for 2013. Below is a round-up of the preliminary property tax levies in Zimmerman, Sherburne County and Elk River.

Zimmerman passes preliminary levy, 3-2

The Zimmerman City Council has voted 3 to 2 to pass the preliminary 2013 General Fund Operational Budget and Levy. The preliminary levy totaled $1,361,051.

Council members Gregory Laney and Wendy Kowalski voted against it. Kowalski requested that the sewer and water budget be added to the General Fund levy amount. The council had reviewed the preliminary budget at every meeting in August and staff recommended the council approve the levy as presented. A public comment meeting to discuss the budget and levy is scheduled for Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.

Changes to the preliminary General Fund Levy may be made prior to the final adoption of the budget and levy in December.

County holds the line on preliminary levies

Sherburne County commissioners this week approved preliminary general and regional rail levies totaling $43.785 million for the tax year 2013.

The general levy of $41.8 million and regional rail levy of $1.95 million hold the line on those levies as they were approved for 2012.

The county was required by state statute to certify its preliminary levies by Sept. 15, and cannot raise the levies above those numbers for next year. Through further study of the budget this fall, commissioners could decide to reduce the levies by a deadline in December.

They set a taxation hearing for 6 p.m. Dec. 10 that will precede their vote on the final levies.

Elk River’s preliminary levy stays the same

The Elk River City Council has voted 5-0 to approve a preliminary maximum property tax levy for 2013 that is identical to last year’s levy of $10,275,815. “That means the amount of taxes collected (by the city) will not increase from last year,” said Finance Director Tim Simon.

The 2013 budget will be fine tuned in the next couple months. The final levy will be approved in December and may be lower than the preliminary levy of $10,275,815 but cannot be higher than that.

Mayor John Dietz told the council he would go along with the motion to set the preliminary tax levy at $10,275,815, but withhold final judgment on what the 2013 budget will be until the city has more information on how it will impact the tax rate for residential and commercial properties.

A meeting where the public is invited to comment on the proposed city budget and levy is set for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at Elk River City Hall.