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Woodbury faces 3.84 percent tax levy increase in 2017

With a steadily growing population and a need to add more staff, the Woodbury City Council is eyeing a 3.84 percent tax levy increase for next year.

The City Council approved Sept. 28 a preliminary tax levy with much of the increase intended to go toward hiring two paramedics and one new police officer. The Great Recession slowed hiring more public safety officials and more are now needed given the city's steady population growth, said City Administrator Clinton Gridley.

Since he's started 12 years ago, Gridley said the city has added 18,000 more people and is nearing the 70,000 mark, adding more demand for city services. "Those additional homes and of course additional businesses do have service demands that need to be accommodated for," he said.

The city's $81,389,546 2017 budget proposal, which was released earlier this month, is an increase of nearly $4 million from this year.

Woodbury homeowners with properties valued at $277,100 — the median value for taxes payable in 2016 — are estimated to decrease by $3 in 2017, assuming the property experienced a 0.3 percent increase in estimated market value.

Hiring new public safety officers, as well as improvements to street and parks were among the most significant investments the city is considering for next year.

The proposal, as well as the proposed levy, may change, and once a city submits its tax levy plan in September, the council can lower the the budget but not increase it.

Compared to 13 other Twin Cities suburbs, Woodbury's proposed levy change is slightly below the average 4.6 percent increase.

The council will hold a Nov. 16 meeting on the budget, as well as its final meeting Dec. 14 where it will approve a budget.

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