« Home

John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Setting the 2009 Maximum Levy

The upcoming Sept. 8th council meeting may have the shortest agenda yet for a regular meeting since I've been on the council. However, it has a particularly important item of business: a resolution setting the maximum tax levy for 2009.

At our last council-manager workshop, we discussed the 2009 budget and the possible levy increase. Staff told us that, under the levy limits set by the legislature and governor earlier this year, Maplewood's maximum possible total levy increase would be 9.2%. From the visitor presentations in our subsequent council meeting, it seems that some residents and commentators thought the staff was proposing a 9.2% increase in the levy. Actually, they were telling us what was the ceiling under the new law, and looking for direction from the council on where to go from there. (I think the council was unified in saying “go lower than 9.2%, please.”)

Be that as it may, you'll notice that this is a much higher number than the 3.9% cap set by the state. The reason is that the new levy limit law sets out various modifiers and exceptions. For example, debt service is outside of the limits, so we need to collect taxes to make payments on the bonds issued in the past two years. For another example, there is a modifier to account for growth in the city's tax base from new construction.

The law says that we must set our maximum levy by September 15th. In December, we will set the final levy, after the Truth in Taxation hearing. The final levy number can be lower than the one we set at our meeting on Monday, but not higher. As we move further along in the budget process, the council will be able to weigh its priorities in terms of spending for 2009 and balancing those needs against taxes and fees.

As you can see from the relevant item in the council packet, the staff took our input at the workshop and came up with a proposed maximum levy of $16,481,820, which in total represents a 6.0% increase over the 2008 levy.

Labels: ,

Post a Comment

Newer Posts Older Posts

Posts by Date

Powered by Blogger & Blogger Templates. Customized by Michelle Nephew.
Contact me at