BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN After months of preparation, the Delano City Council approved the 2017 budget, tax levy, and five-year capital improvement plan during its meeting Tuesday evening.
The total levy for 2017 will be $3,077,998, an increase of 6.42 percent from 2016, resulting in a tax rate increase of .005 percent.
“Our general operations levy is up about 3 percent,” Finance Director Brian Bloch told the council. “The larger portion of this is because of our streets program. Over the last five years, our street debt has been increasing just a little over 19 percent a year, while our operations levy has been under 2.5 percent a year for the last five years.”
Bloch explained the impact of market value on the tax rate.
“A large reason for that small increase is because we had an increase in our market value,” Bloch said. “A lot of homes go up in value, so there’s some inflation that calculates into that figure. We also had a lot of construction last year.”
Delano’s city tax rate of 53.525 percent is sixth lowest in the county. When school and county taxes are figured into the equation, Delano’s total tax rate of 137.109 percent down from 141.875 percent in 2016 is the 10th lowest in the county.
What does it mean for taxpayers?
Bloch used the example of a $225,000 home to demonstrate the impact.
Taxes on a $225,000 home were $2,951 in 2016. If the assessed market value remained the same, taxes would go down 3.35 percent to $2,852. Assuming a 4 percent increase in assessed market value, taxes would increase 1.19 percent to $2,986, Bloch said.
Looking at the overall budget, general fund expenditures and revenues are estimated at $3,412,455. Of that amount, 27 percent will go to community services, 21 percent will go to general government, 20 percent will go to public safety, 14 percent will go to capital outlay, 13 percent will go to public works, and 5 percent will go to other.
That budget is funded 70 percent by property taxes, 10 percent by franchise fees, 9 percent by intergovernmental aids, 6 percent by transfers, 3 percent by licenses and permits, and 2 percent by other.
Of property tax revenue, 18 percent will go to parks and trails; 16 percent to street maintenance and snow removal; 14 percent to police; 13 percent to street reconstruction debt; 11 percent to capital outlay; 9 percent to building and infrastructure debt; 7 percent to fire protection; 7 percent to the senior center, library, and other; 3 percent to emergency services and other safety; and 2 percent to housing and economic development.
The projected five-year CIP calls for spending $808,000 in 2017, $1,144,200 in 2018, $1,820,250 in 2019, $1.63 million in 2020, and $2,418,300 in 2021, for a five-year total of $7,821,550.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved the purchase of a wacker wheel loader for the public works maintenance shop from Titan Machinery in Rogers at a cost of $81,825, which is nearly $40,000 less than what was budgeted.
• approved a contribution of $31,000 to the Delano Firefighters Relief Association, matching the contribution amount from 2015.
• approved the purchase and installation of a diffuser system for the city’s wastewater treatment plant at a cost of $10,748 from Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc.
• approved a liquor license and inside dance license application from Peter Voldness, who is purchasing South Fork Brewing from Ken and Sara Beamish.