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Published August 24, 2011, 10:06 PM

Council Members: Property Tax Hike For GF Library Pay Can Be Avoided

Proposed 2012 budget is 9.16% increase, but council members say tax break can be found
City Council members say they like the budget as a whole, but found a few problems with some of the details. Council president Hal Gershman and Finance Committee chair Doug Christensen were concerned with a tax increase related to the public library.

GRAND FORKS, ND - The Grand Forks City Council is already looking towards 2012 by reviewing the Mayor's proposed budget.

Some city council members say a few tweaks could mean fewer taxes for you.

The city's proposed budget for next year is $128,116,585. This year's budget was $117,364,488. The difference represents an increase of 9.16 percent or $10,752,097.

City Council members say they like the budget as a whole, but found a few problems with some of the details.

Council president Hal Gershman and Finance Committee chair Doug Christensen were concerned with a tax increase related to the public library.

The increase included in the mayor's budget would generate $150,000 dollars for each of two years to increase salaries at the library.

The library director recently said staffers make less than other library employees in the region.

Christensen and Gershman want to avoid a tax increase and think the money could be found in the existing budget.

"The people have to get paid if they're that underpaid, there's no doubt about that. I just want to make sure we have a plan to pay for any improvements we need for the library," Christensen said.

The council will vote on the budget in a few weeks.

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