Archived Story

City council sticks with 4.65 percent tax levy increase

Published 9:43pm Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Austin City Council will stick to its proposed 4.65 percent increase to the city’s 2013 tax levy, though residents will most likely see a decrease in taxes collected by the city.

Council members approved motions to prepare a proposed budget for next year by a 5-1 vote, with Council Member Marian Clennon dissenting, at its annual Truth in Taxation meeting Tuesday night. The council will finalize the city’s budget at its Dec. 17 meeting. If everything remains the same, the city of Austin’s budget will increase by .7 percent to about $30.4 million next year, and the city’s tax levy will increase from about $3.98 million to $4.16 million, or about 4.65 percent.

Yet many residents shouldn’t see an increase in taxes, as Finance Director Tom Dankert told the council and Austin residents in attendance.

“This year it’s a little strange,” he said.

This year’s county-wide commercial property appraisals done at the behest of the Mower County Board of Commissioners raised commercial property estimated market values by 30 percent on average. The increased market values will cause Austin residential taxable markest value to slightly decrease while commercial property taxable market values will increase, which pushes residential property taxes down slightly and commercial property taxes up. In addition, Dankert said the city has historically received a 2 to 3 percent annual increase in tax levy funds from new homes and businesses that are added to the tax rolls for the first time, which would alleviate a large amount of next year’s tax levy increase. This growth isn’t guaranteed to take place, however.

—Look for the full story in the Wednesday print edition of the Austin Daily Herald.

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