Council to certify preliminary numbers Sept. 25
BY STARRLA CRAY
WINSTED, MN Winsted’s expenses could go up nearly $100,000 in 2016, but the average taxpayer likely won’t notice a big change in their city property taxes.
“Although city staff recommend an increase in the preliminary 2016 property tax levy, the estimated property taxes for a $140,000 homestead will actually decrease,” City Administrator Dan Tienter noted during Tuesday’s Winsted City Council work session.
The reason for the potential decrease is due to higher property values in the city. According to the McLeod County Auditor, Winsted’s net tax capacity increased nearly 18 percent this year.
Using the example of a $140,000 value home (which is the median cost based on Winsted’s recent housing survey), the annual city property tax would be $128 less than last year.
Winsted’s total proposed 2016 levy is $1,162,649, a $39,995 (3.56 percent) increase from 2015. The council plans to certify this preliminary amount during a special meeting at noon Friday, Sept. 25 in the Lewis Room of city hall.
Tienter noted that this is the maximum the city’s levy can be, but the council could choose to lower the amount before the final levy is adopted in December.
Under this proposed budget, revenue for the city is projected to go up about $55,000, and expenses are expected to increase about $99,000.
The three largest potential expenditure increases include the addition of a deputy city clerk ($45,083), additional compensation for existing employees based on a recent compensation study ($19,700), and an increase in the engineering budget based on past needs ($14,750).
Tienter noted that the city is not necessarily adding these expenses, but wanted to include them in the proposed budget in order to have flexibility.