Champlin approves 2018 preliminary budget

By Megan Hopps
[email protected]

The Champlin City Council approved the preliminary 2018 budget and tax levy at its Sept. 11 meeting. Minnesota law requires cities to adopt a proposed budget and certify a maximum proposed levy on or before Sept. 30 of each year. Cities must also establish a date to host a public hearing for residents to discuss the levy. The date of the public hearing is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.
“The tax levy being recommended for 2018 is $9,858,928 which is an increase of 6.6 percent,” said Champlin’s Finance Director June Johnston. “However, the levy that’s spread to the tax payer base represents a 5.9 percent increase from the 2017 levy due to the fact that we received $82,922 more in fiscal disparities.”
Of the recommended $9,858,928, $9,106,928 is designated for city operations and capital improvement and $752,169 is designated for the city’s debt service. These numbers reflect a $562,438 or 6.6 percent increase in the general levy and a decrease in the debt levy of $15,831.
“The preliminary proposed levy is the maximum amount that the city may levy for 2018 once the levy is approved; however, the city council may choose to decrease the levy prior to its final adoption in December but it may not be increased,” Johnston said.
The proposed budget is showing an increase from the budget that was adopted in 2017 of $698,384 or 5.82 percent, of which $290,500 is for increases in transfers to infrastructure for capital improvement. There is currently $200,000 designated for streets, $15,500 for street lights, $50,000 for storm water improvements and the $25,000 for the Ice Forum.
Additionally, $256,172 is for employee contract obligations which include a 2.75 percent (2.5 percent in 2017) cost of living adjustment, a $50 per month ($25 per month in 2017) increase in the employer’s contribution to health insurance and an additional staff person for the IT Department for public safety needs ($82,075).
Another $45,228 is reserved for infrastructure replacement and records management system for the joint fire department.
The proposed tax levy has a net impact of a $57 increase for the city tax portion of the property tax bill for a median value home whose value increased from $198,000 to $215,000 between 2016 and 2017. The city council is adopting a preliminary levy without knowing the true tax effect to homeowners of all of the taxing districts.
The proposed budget is still under review by city staff and council. A work session will be held with the city council and department heads Monday, Oct. 2, for the purpose of discussing the final budget.
The final budget will be presented at the public hearing to be Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.