RED WING -- The city's preliminary tax levy and budget was set on Monday. Both are higher than the 2020 budget and levy.

The proposed tax levy for 2021 is $23,658,843. This would be an increase of 1.3% from the 2020 levy.

While the proposed levy is higher, the final figure might be lower; the council can approve the levy as proposed or lower it after certifying it to the state in September. In 2020, for example, the final levy was $732,740 lower than the proposed levy.

The preliminary budget was set at $90,050,550 on Monday. This is about a 4% increase from the 2020 approved budget.

Five of the seven council members voted to approve those figures.

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Council Vice President Evan Brown said this is "a nearly flat levy from the previous year and, of course, lower than the year prior to that. So I think, given all the circumstances, this is a very responsible levy.”

The 2020 levy was set at $23,363,588.

Council member John Becker voted against the preliminary levy and told those in attendance, “It’s close, but not quite. I will be a no vote on this. I think we can do a zero percent levy increase.”

Council member Kim Beise voted against the proposed levy and in favor of the proposed budget.

A hearing will be held to discuss the final 2021 levy and budget at 6 p.m. Dec. 7, either in City Hall or virtually.