Maple Grove approves 2014 preliminary budget

The Maple Grove City Council set its 2014 preliminary budget during its Tuesday, Sept. 3, meeting. A separate story on other council actions appears elsewhere.

The proposed 2014 budget totals for 2014 are $35,270,300, which is an increase of 2.19 percent over the 2013 budget. These include revenues and expenditures. Past history has been that some revenue items can be increased once staff has a clearer picture of 2013, specifically development revenue and court fines.

The proposed budget is the result of several factors.

The first is, the city continues to see population growth. Current estimates for the city’s population in April 2014 are projected to be 65,552, or a 1.25 percent increase from 2012.

Another factor is 2014 expects to be an improved growth year for new commercial/industrial property, within the range of .40 to .60 percent of taxable market value.

Proposed expenditures for 2014 include the addition of a light equipment operator in the Public Works Department and a commercial appraiser in the Assessing Department, as well as the elimination of an accounting clerk and street superintendent. The position of assessing technician and rental housing assistant will be reduced from full-time to three-quarter time.

Homes in the city will see a .5 percent increase in city taxes, or about $5.06 more for next year. This is due to the market value on homes with average market values ($239,000), which will see an increase of .38 percent.

The 2014 proposed tax levy is $32,342,900, an increase of 2.26 percent from 2013. The proposed tax levy includes the amounts of the following: general levy ($29,415,800), road reconstruction ($1,200,000) and capital improvement plan refunding ($1,727,100). The road reconstruction levy is needed to finance part of the city’s 50 percent share of the road rehabilitation program.

The city is required to certify and adopt the proposed levy and send it to the county by Sept. 15. The city can reduce the proposed budget, but cannot increase it before its officially adopted in December.

A budget hearing has been set for Monday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m.