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2017 BUDGET: City tax levy to increase

By Staff | Sep 16, 2016

City of Rugby property tax levies are expected to increase by 8.81 percent for next year.

For the proposed 2017 budget the city is projected to levy 104.59 mills, valued at $7,607.73 per mill.

The city is projected to levy $795,673 for the proposed 2017 budget, $684,127 (89.93 mills) for the city’s general fund, $45,646 (six mills) for public recreation programs, $11,900 (1.56 mills) for snow removal, $42,000 (5.52 mills) for the Heart of America Public Library and $12,000 (1.58 mills) for the city’s Job Development Authority.

The city projects over $4.8 million in proposed revenues, and over $5 million in proposed expenditures for the 2017 fiscal year. The largest of expenditures would come from the general fund as well as infrastructure and water plant maintenance. The largest of general fund revenue is projected to come from property tax, and the largest expenditure for the general fund would be public safety.

At the Rugby City Council meeting earlier this month, Mayor Arland Geiszler said the city took a “big step” on fees last year. Last year fees on water increased from $12 to $16 per month with a $4 fee per 1,000 gallons of water; sanitary sewer rates increased from $6 to $9; storm water (formerly flood control) increased from 25 cents to $3; landfill surcharge increased from 40 cents to 50 cents; and infrastructure repair and maintenance increased from $3.75 to $4. This year, water rates increased from $16 to $20, and a $2 per meter franchise fee for Otter Tail Power Company customers was enacted.

Former Auditor Elizabeth Heisey said the city did not “have an extravagant budget” proposed.

A public hearing to consider increasing the tax levy will be held on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Otter Tail Power Company’s meeting room.

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