The following was released by the city of Minnetonka:
Responsible long-term financial planning has placed the city of Minnetonka in an excellent position to accommodate the slow economic recovery, as well as federal and state political uncertainties. 2013 marks the fourth year since the city’s budget was repositioned to account for the recession’s permanent long-term effects.
In August, the Minnetonka City Council set a 2013 preliminary levy increase of 1.5 percent, which will lower property taxes next year for the median value home in the city. This rate is lower than the current inflation rate and lower than the increase proposed in most of our comparable cities in the metro. In addition, with inflationary costs below original expectations, and with refinancing of debt where appropriate, the 2013 levy of 1.5 percent is less than the 2.1 percent increase that was projected last year.
Comparisons with other cities
The proposed 2013 city levy increase is among the lowest increases of comparable cities. Of the twelve cities in the metro with which Minnetonka generally compares itself, only two are proposing lower increases. The others are proposing increases averaging 3.2 percent above last year’s levies. Unlike many of those other cities, no assessments for roads or extraordinary fees are proposed to supplement Minnetonka’s modest tax increase.
Acting as the city’s Economic Development Authority (EDA), the Minnetonka City Council adopted no change in the preliminary Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) levy for 2013. The HRA levy will remain at $175,000 to continue the commitment made for housing reinvestment and down payment assistance, designed to preserve and improve Minnetonka’s housing stock and attract homebuyers to the city.
With the proposed levy increase of 1.5 percent, city property taxes for the median valued home in Minnetonka ($277,200 in 2012) are estimated to decrease by about one percent. The reasons for the decline are as complex as the state’s property tax system; however, in a nutshell, the decline is due to three main factors:
- Shifting the city property tax burden away from residential to commercial properties due to the state’s formula and changing property values;
- Deciding last year to spread the benefit of the Market Value Homestead Credit change over two years;
- Declining median value of single-family detached homes in Minnetonka.
Input on the 2013 preliminary levy and budget
The city always encourages feedback. Comment on the Ideas on the Budget page; contact Finance Director Merrill King at email@example.com or 952-939-8200 or attend a public hearing Monday, Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 14600 Minnetonka Boulevard.