City Council approves moving final 2024 tax levy forward at Truth and Taxation meeting

Published 7:04 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2023

During its Truth and Taxation meeting Wednesday night, the Austin City Council approved of moving forward with its 2024 tax levy and budget.

The council approved a 5.66% levy increase for the next year totaling $8,752,000, numbers that were set as preliminary at a Sept. 5 City Council meeting. Proposed revenue sources for next year are $46,002,529.

Final approval of the levy increase will now come at the council’s Dec. 18 meeting where they will approve to send the numbers onto Mower County and the State of Minnesota.

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Having an impact on the 2024 levy increase was the approval earlier this year of adding two new officers to the Austin Police Department, accounting for $240,000 or just under 3% of the levy.

The road to get to this point began at a lofty 11.18% in August, a number that council members determined was far too high. Thoughts at the time were to get it lower with numbers as high as 8% offered and as low as around 4%

Further work decreased the levy to 9.93%, advanced only after Mayor Steve King offered the tie-breaking vote in a 4-3 decision.

Then by another 4-3 vote, the council shaved the levy further to the 5.66%, but only after a 4.1% levy was voted down, again by a 4-3 vote.

Next up, the Mower County Board of Commissioners will be holding its Truth and Taxation meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 11 in the board chambers at the Government Center.