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City of Rosemount sets preliminary tax levy increase at 3.52 percent

The city of Rosemount plans to raise taxes approximately 3.52 percent in 2017, but city staff members said the overall tax burden on Rosemount taxpayers has decreased over the last eight years.

On Tuesday, Sept. 20 the Rosemount City Council approved a preliminary 2017 budget that included approximately $19.89 million in expenses.

The city estimated about $8.81 million in revenue, resulting in a total tax levy of about $11.43 million. Rosemount's 2016 tax levy was approximately $11.04 million.

Local municipalities are required to adopt a preliminary budget and levy before the end of September each year. The city cannot raise the levy after it is set in September and must approve a final budget and levy in December.

City Administrator Dwight Johnson told members of the council that 2017 city taxes will increase approximately $21 on a Rosemount home valued at $250,700, the median value in the city.

Johnson said the most significant addition to the 2017 budget is an additional patrol sergeant for the Rosemount Police Department.

"The number of calls has been growing quite significantly in the community," said Johnson. "With only four patrol sergeants right now, we have a hard time covering as many shifts as we want and actually having a patrol sergeant on the streets."

The budget also includes a new park maintenance position, additional support for the city's insurance fund, and increased wages and benefits based on existing city contracts, Finance Director Jeff May said.

The preliminary levy of $11.43 million is slightly lower than the levy passed in 2008. Overall, the city of Rosemount has reduced taxes on the median valued home in the community by around $68 since 2008, May said.

"As we've grown, we've still been able to control and keep our levy at the level it was at nine years ago," May said.

The city's overall tax base, the total value of property that can be taxed by the city, has increased approximately 5.79 percent from 2016 to 2017, May said. This is the fourth consecutive year the city's tax base has increased.

The average increase in value for a median-value residential property in Rosemount has also increased approximately 4.37 perecent.

"I think fiscally we're seeing some movement in our property tax base, maybe not as much as we'd like to see, but again, we're able to do that," said council member Jeff Weisensel.

The city of Rosemount will hold a public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at Rosemount City Hall.

Residents can also learn more about the city's finances using an online budget transparency tool, www.ci.rosemount.mn.us/transparency. The website includes graphs and tables that show Rosemount's revenue and expenses over the last five years.

Other business

• The council authorized the Rosemount Parks and Recreation Department to purchase a new electric ice resurfacer at a cost of $105,082 from Zamboni Incorporated. This includes a savings of $24,500 as a trade in for the city's old resurfacer, which was purchased in 2001. The city's 2016 Capital Improvement Plan included $140,000 for this planned purchase. City council members discussed the purchase during a work session on Sept. 12.

• The council approved the purchase of 45 new pagers for the Rosemount Fire Department from Ancom Communication in Eagan, Minnesota, at a cost of $18,897. New pagers were budgeted for 2019, but City Administrator Dwight Johnson said the equipment is less expensive than anticipated. Fire Chief Rock Schroeder said purchasing the pagers from a vendor in Eagan makes it convenient to have the pagers serviced as needed.

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