Blaine, Columbia Heights, Fridley, Spring Lake Park set 2021 tax levies, budgets for 2021

Last month, the cities of Blaine, Columbia Heights, Fridley and Spring Lake Park approved their 2021 property tax levies and budgets.

The city of Blaine’s 2021 property tax levy is increasing by 6.7% or $2.13 million over 2020, for a total city levy of $34.18 million, according to Finance Director and Assistant City Manager Joe Huss.

The $34.18 million property tax levy includes $33.18 million in city levies as well as a $700,000 property tax levy for the Blaine economic development authority.

Blaine’s Truth in Taxation hearing was held Dec.. 14. No one spoke at the meeting, but one question was submitted via email about the resident’s property evaluation and the process for property taxes.

The City Council approved the 2021 levy and budget 5-1 on Dec. 21, with City Council Member Jess Robertson dissenting.

Huss said the total 2021 budget is set at $35.97 million, a 3.6% increase from 2020.

The breakdown of the general fund budget revenues includes $27.73 million in taxes, $2.11 million in licenses and permits, $1.45 million in intergovermental revenues, $4.45 million for charges for services, $245,500 for fines and forfeits, $155,000 in investment earnings and $80,000 for miscellaneous revenues for a total revenue of $36.23 million.

The breakdown for general fund expenditures is $457,900 for legislative, $2.16 million for administration, $2.99 million for finance, $17.23 million for safety services, $10.28 million for public services, $2.3 million for community development and $435,000 for unallocated expenses.

The city of Columbia Heights’ 2021 property tax levy is increasing by 4.8% or $619,486 over 2020, for a total city levy of $12.91 million, according to Finance Director Joseph Kloiber.

The 4.8% increase is mainly due to inflationary increases and the addition of one full-time Columbia Heights police officer and one full-time community service officer, Kloiber said.

The total levy includes an $11.63 million general fund levy, a $1.03 million levy and a $255,500 Economic Development Authority levy.

The City Council unanimously approved the 2021 property tax levy and budget Dec. 14.

Kloiber said the general fund revenues are $14.9 million and the expenditures are $14.37 million. The total balance for all governmental funds (which includes the general fund), the proprietary funds and interfund transfers is $40.22 million in revenue and $40.22 in expenses.

The city of Fridley’s 2021 property tax levy is increasing by 4.85% or $780,528 over 2020, for a total city levy of $16.89 million, according to City Clerk and Finance Director Daniel Tienter.

Fridley’s Truth in Taxation hearing was Dec. 14. No residents spoke, but several questions and complaints were submitted to Tienter prior to the meeting, including objections to the higher property tax levy and the valuations of specific properties.

The City Council unanimously approved the levy and budget Dec. 21.

Tienter said the general fund levy is set at $13.22 million, a 6.12% or $762,176 increase over 2020. The IT capital projects fund levy was set at $63,405, an 8% or $4,697 increase over 2020. The SNC fund levy was set at $427,249, a 3.75% or $15,443 increase over 2020. The debt service levy were set at $3.17 million, a 0.06% or $1,788 decrease from 2020.

City staff estimated a median value home worth $234,000 (compared to 217,200 the previous year) would see its city taxes increase about $67, or 7.1%, and pay about $1,001 in city taxes for 2021.

The city’s overall budget was set at $47.39 million in expenses, supported by $41.87 million in revenues. Because of the difference, the city will use cash and fund balances to support planned capital expenditures.

The city of Spring Lake Park’s 2021 property tax levy is going up 2.2% or $78,171 over 2020, for a total city levy of $3.63 million, according to City Administrator Daniel Buchholtz.

The 2021 levy includes the general government levy at $3.36 million, a 2.48% or $81,530 increase over 2020; and the debt service levy at $264,485, a 1.25% or $3,359 decrease from 2020.

The Truth in Taxation hearing occurred on Dec. 7. No residents spoke. The council unanimously approved the levy and budget Dec. 21.

Buchholtz said the general fund revenue totals $4.63 million, a 2.41% or $109,165 increase over 2020.

The breakdown of the general fund revenue includes $3.36 million (72%) from property taxes, $689,048 (15%) from intergovernmental revenue, $145,666 (3%) from interfund transfers, $160,562 (4%) from permits and licenses, $156,763 (3%) for charges for current services and $112,784 (2%) from miscellaneous revenues.

Buchholtz said the general fund expenditures total $4.58 million, a 1.32% or $59,728 increase over 2020.

The breakdown of the general fund expenditures includes $70,740 for council, $435,118 for administration, $128,571 for government buildings, $1.99 million for the Spring Lake Park Police Department, $291,710 for services from the Blaine-Spring Lake Park-Mounds View Fire Department, $191,404 for code enforcement, $275,616 for streets, $343,601 for recreation, $343,601 for parks, $240,670 for professional and contractual services and $270,500 for miscellaneous expenses.

“I think the council and staff did a great job this year, especially considering the year we’ve dealt with … and unforeseen costs and services that we had to do with what went on in 2020,” Mayor Bob Nelson said at the Dec. 21 meeting.

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