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Brainerd City Council: Proposed 2013 tax levy approved

A proposed tax levy that duplicated the one approved in 2012 was before the Brainerd City Council Monday night.

Presented by staff, Council President Mary Koep and Personnel and Finance Committee Chairwoman Bonnie Cumberland, the preliminary levy was set at $3,953,486.

“Our goal was to keep the levy no more than last year (2012),” said Koep. “So we kept that dollar amount in this preliminary levy at the flat dollar rate of last year.”

The total of the debt redemption levy was set at $1,500,000, which includes improvement bonds, airport bonds and public facility lease revenue bonds. The subtotal of the purpose of the levy was set at $2,453,486.

In addition, the preliminary levy resolution included a housing and redevelopment authority of $108,080.

With an adoption of a proposed tax levy required by the state by Sept. 15, council approved the 2013 preliminary tax levy with a 5-1 vote. Council member Bob Olson voted against it, saying he thought it should be lower.

“We can also reduce our levy once we set a preliminary,” said Koep. “It can go down and can be reduced, but it can not go up.”

Also discussed by the group, with no action immediately taken Monday night, was a proposed 2013 budget. While the levy reflected the flat amount from last year, a few changes were added to the 2013 budget, one of the biggest being the proposed establishment of computer capital fund.

“As you know in this world and environment, we need updated computer equipment,” said interim city administrator and finance director, Theresa Goble. “With that, we have identified some funds we can transfer from 2012, with savings from the 2012 budget in order to keep our equipment up to date and run all the software to make finance data and permit work.”

Goble said in the recommendation for the proposed establishment an immediate transfer of $38,000 from the 2012 budget, using savings of $20,000 in the city administrator budget and another $18,000 in the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust refund received in April. The preliminary budget also included the addition of a street and sewer employee and police officer.

The proposed budget can be worked up until the final adoption, to be done before Dec. 20, 2012. A public hearing on the levy is scheduled for Dec. 10.

JESSI PIERCE, staff writer, may be reached at 855-5859 or Follow her on Twitter at (@jessi_pierce).

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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