Rochester City Council to Vote on Setting Preliminary Tax Levy Hike Monday
The city council got its first look at the proposed budget in July. Monday night’s vote would set the preliminary tax levy increase and a public hearing date for the proposed $575.4 million budget.
The preliminary budget proposal calls for raising the city’s tax levy to $101.5 million, a 9.44% increase from 2023, which is above the 5% increase the city typically plans for to keep up with rising labor costs and price increases fueled by inflation.
The agenda items lists the following reasons for the proposed larger than usual increase:
- Increasing personnel costs related to labor contracts for existing personnel;
- Funding the cost of worker’s compensation and health insurance costs related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) claims;
- Accomplishing the first step of the evolving Fire Response model;
- Integrating organizational health and wellness to help retain and attract employees while mitigating future worker’s compensation claims.
A news release recapping the budget proposal that was issued in August says the proposed 9.44% property tax increase is, “spread across properties based on the value construction will absorb the tax adjustment first and then other properties will absorb based on category (apartment, commercial, residential, agricultural, industrial, etc.) proportionately to how assessed value for the category and each individual property has changed.”
Council members are set to vote on adopting the 9.44% tax levy increase and to set a December 4 public hearing date on the budget.
The city’s property taxes account for about one-third of a Rochester resident's total property tax bill, with Olmsted County, Rochester Public School District and State of Minnesota being the other property tax collectors.