2021 Budget Preview

I commend our team on producing a budget that rises to the challenges of COVID19. Almost every single property in Rochester is likely to see a decrease in 2021 City of Rochester Property taxes if the budget passes. This is the power of my message of sustainability and ending special favors, when we say no to unnecessary sprawl and giveaways it gives us greater financial flexibility.

Here are some highlights:

  • No tax levy increase
  • No electric or water rate increases
  • No parking ramp or transit rate increases
  • $97.8 million reduction in total expenses from 2020 (17 percent reduction)
  • $1.7 million decrease in hotel/motel tax
  • $1.14 million decrease in LGA
  • $466 thousand decrease in licenses and permits
  • New investment in Equity & Employee Health
  • If Parks referendum passes, additional dollars will go to Parks starting in 2021.

Full 2021 Budget Message

This is especially impressive because the state of once again is significantly cutting Rochester’s Local Government Aid (LGA). The trend for the past 2 decades is that St. Paul gets more and more taxes from Rochester and sends less and less back (even including DMC funds). This trend is currently driven largely by the dysfunction of the Minnesota State Senate and their unwillingness to support LGA.


  1. Is there a more detailed version of the projected 2021 budget somewhere online? Thank you for posting this. I was looking for information on it just the day before! What constitutes the 85k Outside Agency Funding Reduction?

    1. I should be getting that information before the 21st. Shoot me an email and I will forward the info when I get it. There are a number of outside agencies we fund and $85 should hopefully not cause too much harm to these groups. I am not sure of the breakout, but I think is about 10% overall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.