The Medina City Council, Tuesday, Dec. 3, approved a final general fund budget of $3,963,175 to pay for the city’s operating costs in 2014. This is an increase of $186,750 over the $3,776,425 general fund budget for 2013.
The council also approved property tax levies to pay for a major portion of Medina’s 2014 general fund expenses and for servicing the city’s debt in 2014. Two other important financial pieces also got council approval — the city’s 2014 fee schedule and the 2014 capital improvement plan.
City Council actions will affect property tax bills for residential and business owners in 2014. Also, sewer and water rates will go up by 3 percent over the 2013 rates. Meanwhile, the capital improvement document is a plan only. The council must approve any projects and related financing for 2014.
Here are some key details about Medina’s 2014 finances. Information was taken from documents created by Medina’s Finance Department.
PROPERTY TAX LEVIES
The council approved a total property tax levy of $3,428,080 for 2014, up by $179,274 from the $3,248,806 total property tax levy for 2013. This is a 5.5 percent increase. A big reason for the levy increase is costs for servicing debt on renovations of the former Clam Corps office and warehouse building that is the new home of the Public Works and Police departments. Also, in 2014, Medina will be paying a full year of operating costs for the new facility.
The total 2014 property tax levy has two parts, consisting of the $2,807,902 general fund levy and the $620,178 debt service levy. The general fund levy is up by $81,784 from the $2,726,118 general fund levy for 2013 — a 3 percent increase. Meanwhile, the debt service levy is up by $97,490 from the $522,688 debt service levy for 2013 — an 18.7 percent increase in this particular levy. When the two levies are combined, the total levy increase is 5.5 percent.
During the past two years, city officials gave considerable thought to financing for housing all of Medina’s departments. First, the city had an option to purchase land next to the Hennepin County Public Works Facility as site for a new city public works facility. Following through with that idea would have solved only one of three problems. The Police Department and City Hall still would have needed expanded facilities, with potential construction in 2015.
When Clam Corps decided to sell its building at 600 Clydesdale Trail, Medina had a chance to house Police and Public Works departments under one roof for the next 30 to 40 years and keep City Hall at its County Road 24 location. And housing both police and public works vehicles in the same place helped the city avoid duplication of some facilities. So Medina decided to pay a little more now and much less later, thus saving taxpayer dollars in the long run.
Key issues for Medina are improving roads that are deteriorating, equipping the new police and public works facility and funding the city’s share of equipment and building costs for fire departments serving the city. All of these issues are mentioned in the 2014 capital improvement plan.
If the City Council approves all of the 2014 road projects, the city’s share of costs would amount to $608,745. Total costs would amount to $1,010,194, with some of the money coming from grants, if available. The grant picture will affect whether Medina decides to undertake some projects. Potential road projects are reconstruction of Hamel Road from Pinto to Tower Drive, reconstruction of Tower Drive from the water treatment plant to Hamel Road and overlays of Chippewa Road West and roads in the Tuckborough Hunter Farms Addition.
Other potential capital improvements are $125,000 for City Hall repairs and renovation, $107,500 for police equipment and $223,000 for public works equipment.
EFFECTS ON TAXPAYERS
Taxpayers last spring received information about their property tax assessed valuations for taxes payable in 2014. Meanwhile, Medina officials have estimated that many homes and business properties have experienced a 3 percent increase in market value.
The owner of a $700,000 home with this market value increase would receive an estimated 2014 property tax bill of $2,147, an increase of $145 (7.3 percent) over the homeowner’s $2,002 property tax bill for 2013. The owner of a $5 million commercial-industrial property with a 3 percent market value increase would pay an estimated $25,929 in property taxes — up by 6.8 percent from his or her $24,269 property tax bill for 2013.
City taxes buy $61.71 worth of police services per month for the owner of the $700,000 house, along with $32.47 per month for capital equipment and roads, $28.07 for public works and $30.30 in general administrative services. The property owner also gets fire, planning and building and park and recreation services.
Cities are not the only government entities that send out property tax bills. Out of every tax dollar, Medina gets 23 cents, schools get 22 cents and Hennepin County gets 46 cents. Other tax jurisdictions, such as watershed districts, get 8 cents.
Contact Susan Van Cleaf at [email protected]