The Roseville Council voted unanimously to adopt a $45 million 2013 budget at its Monday meeting that includes a $17.3 million tax levy.
The preliminary tax levy is a 15.4 percent increase compared with 2012. Much of the increase comes from $1.6 million in debt service costs from 2011 and 2012 bonds related to the new fire station and the park renewal program.
A resident living in a median-valued, single-family homes will pay $4.97 more per month in 2013 than in 2012 in property taxes. A $700,000 Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) levy also approved Monday will raise taxes by an additional $1.28 per month for a median-valued home.
Before council members voted on the budget, they listened to the comments of Roseville residents, who argued that the increased taxes were too heavy a burden.
Tim Callaghan said that the council was building expensive new parks facilities that go beyond “renewal” and maintenance, replacing ballfields instead of repairing them.
“This doesn’t sound like renewal, this sounds like a significant upgrade,” he said. “This city council has a problem: It seems to think there’s an infinite well out there.”
Dick Houck said his taxes would be rising by $300 in 2013.
“There isn’t anybody I know other than government employees who are getting a $300 increase in their incomes for next year,” he said. “There’s something that government people just don’t get—we’re broke—and you people are spending millions of dollars on parks that I can’t afford to drive to, much less use.”
Mayor Dan Roe stressed that the council has been relatively conservative with its tax increases.
“Including capital funding that we did last year, we have made significant cuts, and while we may not be proposing cuts in 2013, I think all we’re doing is extending the status quo—with the exception of this bonding and a couple of other relatively small obligations,” he said.
Outgoing council member Jeff Johnson said that the Roseville Council has worked to plan for the future and maintain infrastructure.
“The overwhelming majority of funds are taking care of problems that this city historically has had,” he said. “We worked very hard at coming up with sustainable strategies.”
A $50,000 study of employee compensation was removed from the budget before the final vote. A vote on establishing utility rates was postponed until the council’s Dec. 10 meeting.