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Minot budget picture looks brighter with help from state

June 23, 2019

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Administrators of a city in the North Dakota oil patch say residents should get a break on property taxes in 2020, due in large part to financial assistance from the state Legislature.

Minot City Manager Tom Barry says the city is receiving more than $6 million from the state in so-called hub city funding, which designates a small percentage of oil and natural gas production money and distribution taxes to Minot, Williston and Dickinson.

That is more than double the total that Minot was provided from the last session, the Daily News reported .

“That is a large reason why we are not having to recommend a property tax increase this year,” Barry said during a budget discussion meeting. “If this hadn’t happened, our financial outlook would look very different today.”

The council it outlining options to spend the hub money. One idea is to allocate $1.5 million toward relocating city hall. Another proposal would direct some of the hub money to a new northwest fire station, estimated to cost between $3 and $4 million. Some would prefer the station be built with reserves.

Council president Mark Jantzer said if a project is deemed valuable, the funding source shouldn’t matter.

“Each project has to be justified and stand on its own merit,” he said.

Many Minot residents were upset by a considerable property tax increase last year.

“We are really excited that the budget is looking the way it is, We wouldn’t be in this spot if we hadn’t made the decisions we made in the last couple years,” Barry said, referring to $5 million in reduced operating costs, $5 million in dropping a facilities fund, $600,000 in cuts to grants and donations and trimming personnel.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

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