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Brainerd's 2013 budget and levy presented

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It was a near empty house for Monday’s public hearing on Brainerd’s proposed 2013 budget and levy.

The Brainerd City Council held the public hearing that allows residents the chance to ask questions about the city’s budget and levy. The only resident attending the meeting was Gary Scheeler, who was elected into Ward 3 to the city council for 2013, but he had no questions.

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Brainerd’s preliminary 2013 property tax levy of $3,953,486, is the same as it was in 2012.

Of the total levy, $1.5 million or 38 percent is levied for debt services.

Brainerd Finance Director Connie Hillman said the budgeting process started in mid-July and the council held several work sessions to discuss the budget and levy. The Brainerd City Council set it’s preliminary levy in September and will certify the final levy at its regular meeting scheduled Dec. 17. The council cannot raise the levy, but can lower it.

Hillman said that even though the levy is proposed not to change, the preliminary general tax rate increased from 54.54 percent to 58.888 percent, an increase of 4.348 percent. Hillman said this is due to a decrease in the taxable tax capacity. In Hillman’s presentation, she stated the taxable market value in 2012 was $584,216,00 and the tax capacity was $7,195,201; and in 2013 it will be $534,184,700 and the tax capacity $6,656,876.

In the proposed 2013 budget, the city has an estimated $13,066,769 in revenue and $12,969,231 in expenditures, giving the city $97,538 more revenue over expenditures.

The major changes to the 2013 budget include an addition of a police officer, which is partially paid through a grant; a 10 percent increase in health insurance; a capital increase in the building inspections’ PermitWorks update; and an increase in the workers’ compensation insurance.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl.

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