Bob Nowicki’s take on the budget process

I am still struggling to catch up.  I have about 3 more posts from the NLC to publish, and then some budget information.  A quick comment that I have is wow, you should have seen Sandra Means stand up and be vocal on the last day.  Great job by her.  Here is Bob’s note:

I can’t say enough about the professionalism and dedication staff, every Department Head, our Finance Department and especially our City Administrator, Steven Kvenvold, for their work on this year’s budget especially as we face numerous potential reductions to our income.

All I can say right now is that we have an increase in our tax levy that doesn’t even match the increase in costs of our Fire and Police Departments. It certainly isn’t close to the 8.5% tax levy we were forced to come up with by September 15 which as I told you earlier was a maximum “guesstimate” required by the State which we had to make way before our December 15 actual deadline. I think that using this number as a basis of the “Proposed Property Tax” bill we get doesn’t serve much purpose except to get everyone’s dander up to then possibly speak at the “truth in taxation” meeting, send tons of emails to us to keep taxes down, and in general get us all riled up when, truth be known, we pay taxes too and don’t want to pay any more that we have to either.

What I believe will be the final number is a property tax increase of $1,566,311 or a 3.5% increase from last year. What we’ll actually see on our property tax bills are a reflection of this levy spread out across new growth, rising or falling property valuations, classifications, and the county and school levies.

Steve prepared an excellent PowerPoint overview for our truth in taxation meeting this last Monday if you want to see what it takes to run our fair city, where other funding comes from, our growth, history etc.

It will be posted on the City Home Page www.rochestermn.gov or you can see the actual presentation by going to

https://www.rochestermn.gov/departments/citycouncil/councilmeetings/videopages/20101206_video.asp

and watching the video . It’s early in the meeting after the consent agenda items.

You may have read about the initiative to review the driving of city vehicles home by some selected employees. We reviewed this practice some at this year’s budget setting sessions and proposed a more in depth look into the matter after the first of the year.

Got to run. Have a great week.

Bob Nowicki

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