WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published December 06, 2011, 10:07 PM

2012 EGF Budget Is Set; No City Tax Increases

EAST GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The East Grand Forks budget for 2012 is set. Residents will see a couple fee increases, and a property tax increase because of state budget cuts.

EAST GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The East Grand Forks budget for 2012 is set. Residents will see a couple fee increases, and a property tax increase because of state budget cuts.

The city will be holding the property tax levy flat this year. But residents will see higher taxes from the state because of the budget deal that ended the Minnesota state shutdown in July.

Taxpayers will see a few increased fees starting January 1st. The street light fee will increase by $0.75 and the storm water fee will increase by $1.00.

"Both of those funds have not seen increases in several years. Naturally after five or six years the expenses tend to catch up so we did that simply to catch up with expenditures," East Grand Forks City Administrator Scott Huizenga said.

Besides those two small increases, East Grand Forks residents shouldn't see any more fees coming from the city.

"We haven't had to make any real drastic cuts considering we've lost millions of dollars in Local Government Aid," Council Member Greg Leigh said.

The city will be getting $600,000 fewer local government aid dollars than they had expected. They've offset that shortfall by eliminating a few positions and by cutting some expenditures.

"We've been able to make these cuts incrementally and that's, I think over the last three or four years, that's what's gotten us to the point now where we have, I think, a pretty stable budget," Huizenga said.

Residents will also see a tax increase from the state.

"3.3 percent will be that average household. Commercial properties, industries, and some apartments will probably see larger increases than that," Huizenga added.

And council members have a simple solution for residents who aren't happy with that increase.

"If you're unhappy with what happened with your taxes then call your state representatives who are in the majority party," Council Member Henry Tweten said.

The city was able to make a few capital investments in this year's budget. They set $40,000 aside for swimming pool repairs and $50,000 toward a new aerial fire truck.

Tags: