BAXTER - Baxter's 2009 preliminary tax levy is a slight increase from 2008.
The Baxter City Council, in a budget workshop Sept. 10, approved a 2009 preliminary tax levy of $5,513,700, a 5.8 percent increase over the 2008 levy of $5,211,300.
The levy amount would equate to a tax rate of about 41.9 percent, Finance Director Jeremy Vacinek said, a slight increase from the 2008 tax rate of 41.03 percent.
"Our goal was to keep the levy about the same as last year," Mayor Darrel Olson said Tuesday.
Baxter residents' actual tax rate has yet to be set by Crow Wing County. The preliminary levy was set at the state-allowed levy limit, but the council can lower it at any time.
During the budget workshop it was learned the city's community development fund would have a deficit of about $300,000 by the end of 2009. While staffers initially recommended a tax levy of $5,421,500, council members agreed an increase of $92,200 to the levy limit was in order to offset part of the deficit in the development fund. Another option, Vacinek said, was to extend a loan to the development fund from the general fund.
Other options discussed included not filling staff positions, to which current staffers were opposed, and delaying transfers in to the capital projects budget. The council wanted to avoid layoffs if possible.
Staffers continue to work on the city's 2009 budget and another budget workshop is planned in late October. The final 2009 budget and levy will be approved Dec. 2.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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