Property tax hearings set

December 2, 2018

Three hearings next week will offer Rochester taxpayers a chance to weigh in on proposed property tax levies.

The Rochester City Council, Rochester School Board and Olmsted County Board of Commissioners have Truth-in-Taxation hearings set to discuss budgets and planned levy increases for 2019.

The Rochester City Council’s public hearing will center on its recommended $283.9 million budget for 2019, which would include $73.6 million collected from property taxes. The hearing will be part of the 7 p.m. Monday meeting in city council chambers of the city-county Government Center, 151 Fourth St. SE.

The latest proposed tax levy increase has been adjusted down slightly from the 8.77 percent increase proposed earlier this year to generate a total of $74.5 million in funds for the city’s budget.

The school district’s hearing will be held the following day at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the board room of the Edison Building, 615 Seventh St. SW.

The latest levy amount being recommended for the district is $56 million, which is a decrease from the initial 7.4 percent increase proposed to generate $56.6 million through school district property taxes.

The increase is mainly attributed to costs of long-term facilities maintenance needs, an adjustment to school-age child care special needs, an increased student population and inflation on the district’s voter-approved operating referendum, according to staff reports.

The existing budget for this school year is nearly $296.9 million. The budget for the school year starting in 2019 will be finalized in the spring.

Olmsted County commissioners are set to hold their tax hearing at 7 p.m. Thursday in the boardroom of the Government Center.

The proposed budget commissioners reviewed last month calls for $221 million in spending, which includes a property tax levy of approximately $103 million — a 4.9 percent increase over the total property taxes collected this year.

The mandated Truth-in-Taxation hearings provide an opportunity for residents to provide input on the recommend 2019 city and county budgets, as well as the proposed property tax levies.

While property owners recently received notices of proposed 2019 taxes based on preliminary levies, city and county officials have noted the upcoming hearings are not the proper time to appeal property values cited in the notices.

Property valuation notices were sent in March, with hearings to dispute increases starting in April.

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