Spring Lake Park planning to reduce 2013 levy, budget

Spring Lake Park City Council has set its preliminary 2013 levy and budget.

The city is proposing to reduce its proposed 2013 budget by 14.09 percent and tax levy by 22.18 percent, down to $2,588,960.

Several minor reductions added up to a $559,105 cut in the 2013 general fund budget from the 2012 amount of $3,968,642, said Finance Clerk Peggy Anderson.

The legal fees were reduced by $4,500, expenditures were cut in the government building fund and administration, and the city was able to cancel three bonds levies, totaling $414,781.

The administration reductions were primarily because of City Administrator Barb Nelson’s switch to part-time status Sept. 17.

With the excess funds from its 2004 refunding bond issue to pay for a 2001 street project, the city was able to cancel the levy for the 2013 payment of $52,711 on the 20-year general obligation capital improvement fire bond, which was issued in 2006 to build Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Department Station 3, the $315,000 on the 1999 general obligation refunding bond, which was used for capital purchases, and $47,070 to pay off the 1999 certificate of participation bond, used to pay for the expansion of the police department.

The general obligation refunding bond has its final payment due in 2014, said Anderson.

At the Sept. 4 meeting, the council unanimously canceled the three levied bond payments. Councilmembers Barbara Carlson and Bill Nash were absent.

With the cancelation of the three bond levies, the city is proposing to levy $2,588,960, approximately $737,810 less than in 2012.

Taxpayers will see no change to city services, said City Administrator Barb Nelson.

But they don’t know yet if property taxes will stay the same, increase or decrease, she said.

The city will not be able to determine what the city taxes will be until the state certifies what the Homestead Market Value Exclusion will be and the county makes a final determination on what property values will be in 2013, Anderson said

According to Anoka County Assessor Mike Sutherland, the property tax values dropped 11.4 percent in Spring Lake Park for taxes payable in 2013.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]