The Sleepy Eye City Council set the preliminary 2014 budget and tax levy certification at their Tuesday meeting. The final Truth and Taxation meeting was set for Dec. 10.
Options discussed included a 5.7 percent ($65,670) and 3.44 percent ($39,670) levy reductions from the 2013 total levy of $1,152,110. While street capital funds would be $60,000 less than in 2013, contingency funds would be $135,000 greater than 2013 according to proposed levy choices.
When the legislature set the new budget they put a new levy on the city for the 2014 tax year, Kober explained, noting that overall the levy is about $39,000 less than last year, at a 3.44 percent reduction.
“It’s an interesting combination this year with the budget. While LGA returned, special levies were restricted because we couldn’t recoup any lost revenue from the past LGA and our general tax levy is limited to last year’s figure or last year’s levy, which ever is highest,” said Kober. “In this case it was last year’s levy. The general fund didn’t have much room to work with and actually has a decrease in taxes. This year because our special levies are lower and the revenue is higher we have a chance to lower our levy a little bit.”
The 2014 budget would climb from $3,462,160 in 2013 to $3,603,190 in 2014 according to the proposal.
“I think this is a conservative, yet doable budget,” Kober added. “One of the options we talked about was adding $25,000 to the next street projects in the special levies and decreasing taxes by 3.44 percent.”
The council approved the preliminary budget of a 3.44 percent reduction.