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Tax bills to go up despite levy decrease

Woodbury tax bills won't go up so much, but they won't stay flat either.

The Woodbury City Council agreed Wednesday, Nov. 28, to reduce the preliminary property tax levy by $220,632 in response to decreases from a key revenue source.

The council had studied three different options after getting news that Woodbury would lose some money from a metrowide reimbursement program it's required to participate in.

The resulting levy decrease - combined with the decrease in reimbursement funding - means the effect on the average value home will be $6 more than last year, or a 0.6 percent increase.

To leave the levy at about $29 million, the city would've had to increase property taxes by 1.5 percent.

To make it a 0 percent increase, the levy would've had to be reduced to about $28.6 million, which meant cuts to the capital equipment and street budgets.

So council members decided to meet in the middle by reducing the levy to about $28.8 million.

The council did not take an official vote at the workshop, however, plans call for approving the levy at that amount at the Dec. 12 truth-in-taxation hearing.

With the 0.6 percent increase, all of the 2013 budget priorities would be met except for a small decrease in the capital equipment funding, according to city staff.

"I think it's a good compromise," Council Member Amy Scoggins said.

Council Member Christopher Burns, who consistently advocated for no increases, said although he would've liked a $0 increase, he's OK with the decision.

The council is expected to adopt the levy next Wednesday, Dec. 12 following the annual truth-in-taxation public hearing.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.