Maple Grove proposes 1.32% increase in 2013 budget

The Maple Grove City Council hosted its first public hearing regarding the 2013 budget during its Monday, Dec. 3 meeting.

Finance Director Jim Knutson presented the council with the proposed 2013 budget and tax levy during its budget hearing.

The proposed 2013 budget totals are $34,513,600, which is a 1.32 percent increase for the 2012 budget. Knutson said the expenditures are proposed to increase by 1.32 percent. This percentage increase is in line with the city’s commercial and population growth and inflation.

The estimated 2012 population is 63,013, with the 2013 population expected to exceed 63,700. This is a 26 percent increase over the 2000 census. Knutson said that with an increase in the growth of residents, it creates a need for additional expenditures in the form of more staffing, supplies/maintenance materials or third party arrangements to provide municipal services.

“We continue to be one of the fastest growing suburbs in the metropolitan area,” he added.

The property tax will provide the majority of funding for the General Fund — about 83 percent. Property taxes are proposed to increase by 1.41 percent over the 2012 levy.

The city has done some cost saving strategies. In 2012 and 2013, the city eliminated three positions, delayed rehiring upon retirements and resignations, participated in group purchasing programs and took advantage of the current interest rates by refinancing debt.

The 2012 budget includes a decrease in funding for professional services, communications and repairs.

“We are recommending that we eliminate three positions in 2013 — special assessment tech, records management coordinator and deputy police chief,” Knutson said. “That would be replaced with a police officer.”

There will be additional minimal increase in supplies, insurance, utilities and maintenance areas, such as buildings, equipment, boulevards/medians and street sweeping and seal coating. There will also be an increase in amount for road materials used in both summer street maintenance and winter snow plowing.

The city has about 21,688 homes with an “average” value of about $234,900. The average home value decreased by about 7.34 percent from last year’s “average” of $253,500 and will pay an estimated $921 in city property tax in 2013. Including all taxing jurisdictions, 74 percent of residential properties will see a decrease in property taxes in 2013.

The council will adopt its 2013 budget and tax levy at its meeting Monday, Dec. 17.