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Nisswa: Tax levy to rise 8.71 percent in 2019

Echo Journal file photo.

On a 4-1 vote, the Nisswa City Council adopted its 2019 general revenue tax levy that shows an 8.71 percent tax levy increase over 2018.

The levy will be $2,342,653, or $187,684 more than this year. The council unanimously adopted the 2019 budget of $2,834,586 Wednesday, Dec. 19.

Council member Don Jacobson opposed the tax levy increase, preferring to take money from the city's reserve fund to lower the tax impact on residents. An option City Administrator Jenny Max presented was to take $37,000 from the city's reserve fund - akin to a savings account - to drop the tax levy to $2,305,653 for a 6.99 percent increase.

Jacobson suggested the council take more than $37,000 from the $4.6 million reserve fund for an even lower tax levy increase. Mayor Fred Heidmann supported that idea.

Council member Ross Krautkremer favored a balanced budget, asking how the city would make up that money taken from the reserve fund next year. He noted Max recommended a balanced budget without taking any money from the reserve fund.

Council member John Ryan shared Krautkremer's concern, adding that when comparing a 6.99 percent levy increase to an 8.71 percent levy increase, he believed the change to his own property taxes was negligible. What the city doesn't levy this year, it would have to try to make up next year, Ryan said.

Council member Gary Johnson agreed with Krautkremer and Ryan, preferring to keep the reserve fund money for other emergencies or areas where the city could use that money when it didn't bond.

The council's preliminary levy adopted in September reflected a 9 percent increase in the levy from 2018. Employee wage increases and bonds issued for road improvements equate to a 5.22 percent levy hike, which the council couldn't change.

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