Posts Tagged ‘property taxes’

Board Sets Maximum Levy Increase for 2013

Written by Jeff Johnson on September 17th, 2012. Posted in General

Board votes to limit levy increase to 1.52% next year

Last week the county board set the maximum level at which we can levy property taxes on our constituents in 2013.  Once that level is set, we cannot later decide to tax more, although we could choose to tax at a lower level when we pass our final budget in December.  In the past, the final levy amounts have usually been very close to the maximum levels we have set.

Hennepin County has three tax levies.  The largest – by far – is the general levy, which is currently set at just over $668 million.  The rail levy is currently set at $18 million.  The housing levy is currently set at $5.61 million.

When we met last week, county administration proposed that we set maximum levy increases at 1.3% for the general levy, 16.67% for the rail levy and 23.5% for the housing levy.  All told, that would have been an overall maximum levy increase of 1.9%.

When we considered the general levy, Commissioner Opat offered an amendment to cut the maximum increase from 1.3% to 1.0% which passed unanimously.  My proposal to limit the max levy to a 0% increase failed on a vote of 2 – 4 (with Commissioner Randy Johnson and I supporting the 0% option).  The final vote on the 1% maximum levy increase was also 4 -2 (with Randy Johnson and I voting “no”).

The 16.67% maximum rail levy increase passed on a vote of 5 – 1 (I was the “no” vote).  The board unanimously supported Commissioner Callison’s motion to decrease the maximum housing levy increase to 14.6%.  The final vote on that maximum increase was also 5 -1 (I was the “no” vote).

Overall, we set a total maximum levy increase for 2013 at 1.52% (or $10.5 million).

I did not support any of the maximum levy increases.  As I pointed out to my colleagues, taxpayers in Hennepin County (and throughout the country) are still struggling mightily.  Unfortunately, the common response to that fact is: “We need to spend more money to help those struggling taxpayers.”

Metro Counties Set Max Levies

Written by Jeff Johnson on September 29th, 2011. Posted in General

Maximum levy changes range from 7.2% cut to 1.7% increase.

Yesterday, at a meeting of the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District board (one of the best uses of taxpayer money you will ever find, BTW), we discussed the maximum levies set by metro counties this month.  State law requires that every county set its maximum levy amount in early September.  When the county passes its final budget in December each year, it can levy at the maximum amount or lower, but not higher.

Below is a list of the 7 metro counties’ maximum 2012 general property tax levy in relation to their 2011 levy:

Anoka: 7.4% decrease

Carver: 2.2% decrease

Dakota: 0%

Washington: 0%

Scott: 1% increase

Hennepin: 1% increase

Ramsey: 1.7% increase

Board Sets Maximum Levies

Written by Jeff Johnson on September 21st, 2011. Posted in General

Overall, not a bad day for HC taxpayers – but there’s still work to do…

Last week, the County Board set our “maximum levy” amounts for 2012.  State law requires every local government unit to set the maximum amount it will levy for the upcoming year in early September.  Once the maximum levy amount is set, the local government can still choose to levy less when it sets its final budget (usually in December), but it cannot choose to levy more.

Hennepin County has three separate levies – the general levy, the railroad authority levy and the housing authority levy.  In 2011, the general levy was set at just under $650 million.  The railroad levy was $18 million.  The housing levy was just over $5.6 million.

Last week, the Board voted 5 – 1 (Gail Dorfman was absent and I voted no) to set the maximum general levy at an amount representing a 1% increase.  I moved to set the max at the same level as last year, but was voted down 2 – 4 (with Randy Johnson joining me in voting “yes”).  Keep in mind that the 1% increase (approximately an extra $6.5 million in tax revenue) is the maximum and the Board could decide to hold the levy flat – or even cut it – when we set our final budget.

The original proposal from the County Administrator was to set the maximum 2012 railroad levy at $21 million – just over a 17% increase from 2011.  Commissioner Jan Callison successfully moved to cut that increase in half.  I then moved to hold the maximum levy at $18 million (a 0% increase).  That motion also passed on a vote of 4 – 2 (with Randy Johnson, Mike Opat and Mark Stenglein joining me).

The Board unanimously set the maximum housing levy at a 0% increase as proposed by the county administrator.

My goal in our final budget discussions will be to cut the levies by an amount that would hold the “average” Hennepin County homeowner harmless from a higher county property tax bill.

Mixed Bag of Tax Votes on County Board

Written by Jeff Johnson on September 10th, 2010. Posted in General

General tax levy will remain flat; rail and housing levies will increase

Tuesday was a big day in the county’s budget calendar as we set the maximum levy amount for Hennepin County’s three county-wide levies (the general levy, the housing levy and the rail levy). The result of Tuesday’s meeting was a mixed bag for taxpayers.

The big news: The county’s general levy amount WILL NOT increase in 2011. The board set the maximum levy amount at a 0% increase in 2011. Because it’s a maximum, we can levy less than a 0% increase when we set the final budget in December, but we can’t levy more.

The reason this is big news? It’s the first time since 1993 that Hennepin County has not increased the general levy amount. Obviously, this is a positive development.

The smaller (and not-so-good) news: The board set maximum increases for the county’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority levy and Regional Railroad Authority levy at 55% and 20%, respectively. Again, those are maximum increases, so we could set them lower in December, but I can all but guarantee that we will levy at those maximum amounts.

Hennepin Property Tax Levy to Increase

Written by Jeff Johnson on September 11th, 2009. Posted in General

 On Tuesday, the Hennepin County Board voted 6 – 1 (I was the “no” vote) to set our maximum property tax levy increase for 2010 at 4.95%.  This means that when we set our 2010 budget later in the year, we can increase the levy by 4.95% or less, but we cannot go over that amount.  In the recent past, the final level has been set at or very near the maximum level nearly every year.  I would expect this year will be the same.