Monticello City Council sets 2014 preliminary levy at $8.15 million

The seventh try was the charm Monday night after Monticello City Council members labored to adopt a resolution to set the city’s 2014 preliminary tax levy.
City leaders eventually settled on an $8.15 million levy, which represents a $250,000 or 3.2 percent increase over last year. The city needed to certify its preliminary levy to the Wright County’s auditor-treasurer on or before Sept. 15. The preliminary levy will be used to send truth-in-taxation notices to property owners in November.
Once the preliminary tax levy is set the final property tax levy cannot exceed the preliminary levy, but can be lower. The final property tax levy must be certified to the county auditor no later than Dec. 28.
During his levy presentation Monday night, Finance Director Wayne Oberg said the citizens of Monticello were getting a “pretty good deal” on property taxes. Oberg said city staff tried to develop a 2014 budget that would minimize the property tax effect on all property owners. For initial budgeting purposes, staff used tax levy target of $8.23 million.
That levy target represented a $332,000 (4.2 percent) increase over the 2013 final levy. Currently, $320,000 of the $332,000 increase is targeted for debt service, Oberg said. The remaining $12,000 is slated for the General Fund and Community Center Fund. As the budget takes final form, the final levy for each fund may vary slightly from the preliminary.
According to Oberg, the city’s 2014 preliminary General Fund budget, which contains the preliminary levy, reflects a $3,541 decrease over the 2013 adopted budget. The preliminary General Fund budget is $6,783,428, compared to 2013’s adopted budget of $6,786,969.

See this week’s print edition of the Monticello Times for the complete story.