Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Austin CIty Council to hone budget, levy

August has arrived, which means it's time for the Austin City Council to heat up its budget talks. A preliminary budget review for the 2013 proposed budget and tax levy is scheduled for today's work session. The city council has gotten more of a jump on its budget talks this year, after not starting until Aug. 1 in 2011. There was the work session in June this year, plus the council has looked at line-item budgets from the various city departments during previous work sessions.

The budget booklet includes a suggested 3.14 percent tax levy increase for 2013 in order to balance the needs and requests of city department heads, according to a memo from Finance Director Tom Dankert and City Administrator Jim Hurm to the mayor and council. Last year, the council approved a 13 percent increase.

Along with budget talks today, council members will hear from outside organizations that will request funding for 2013.

The proposed increase fits within the direction the council provided during a June 4 work session: to have a 2 to 4 percent increase for 2013. It would bring in an additional $125,000 of tax revenue into the 2013 budget, according to the memo.

A work session Aug. 20 would give the council another opportunity to discuss the budget, which is scheduled for a Sept. 4 vote. The tax levy may not be increased, although it can be lowered, after the Sept. 15 state mandated deadline.


Dec. 3 is the date set for final approval of the 2013 tax levy and budget. The truth-in-taxation hearing is proposed for Nov. 27.

One of the 2012 priorities the council set was to continually review the budget to find efficiencies.

Last year, the council approved a 13 percent tax levy increase, the same number set for the maximum at the September meeting. Budget discussion started in August and continued throughout fall, right up until the final vote.

Initially, the tax levy for 2012 was $3,975,000, or about a 4 percent decrease from the 2011 levy. However, since the state eliminated some funding and tax breaks, the levy increased 13 percent.

Local Government Aid for 2013 will stay the same as last year, per what the Minnesota Department of Revenue has certified under the current law.

What To Read Next
Get Local